Working Committees

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Working Committees

The Working Committees are the issue-based bodies that determine the overall public affairs strategy on legislative issues at an all India level. The members of the Working Committees determine, submit and execute public affairs strategies on key action dossiers. Working Committee members are policy experts, chosen from among the Sectoral Associations and Members. Work in Progress, Final reports and recommendations of all working committees are submitted to the Secretariat for approval before circulation/ dissemination.

FIRST India represents the interests of Internet Retail and online merchants and the activities are focussed on four main pillars:

  • e-Regulations
  • Digital Transactions and Innovation
  • e-Logistics
  • Trust (FIRST TRUST Mark)

Members of FIRST India, can nominate representatives to join the committees. Meetings to discuss and further develop the positions of FIRST India, on a wide range of topics are organized periodically. These meetings are also occasions to get informed, share best practices and discuss obstacles that merchants face in their daily operations in several states. FIRST India translates the outcome of the Working Committees into policy recommendations for legislators on how to make it easier for merchants to sell online, inside the state borders, across states and across international borders. At the same time, it translates what comes from the data of different markets into practical information that can be used by online merchants in their daily activities.
The working committees are led by a Chair and two Co-Chairs and can have a maximum of 9 members.

Research Working Committee: The Research Committee is responsible for putting together all the Priority Papers & Position Papers related to Internet Retail and e-commerce sector in India and Internationally. FIRST India publishes its policy proposals in several position papers and one priority paper. The priority paper cover a general overview of FIRST India's recommendations on Internet Security and Data Protection, Consumer Rights, Digital Transactions, Tax, Competition and e-Logistics. whereas the position papers will provide detailed policy recommendations. The position paper will provide Indian policymakers and other stakeholders with recommendations and advice on retail and e-commerce related matters.

Policy Working Committee: The members of this Working Committee will determine and execute public affairs strategies on key action dossiers. Working Committee members will be the policy experts from the National Associations and Company Members. The Working Committees will be issue-based bodies that will determine the overall public affairs strategy on legislative issues at National level.

e-Regulations Working Committee: The e-Regulations Working Committee focusses on a broad range of regulatory topics that are relevant for the digital commerce industry, including consumer rights, contract law, data protection and e- privacy, product safety, Platform-to-Business relations, direct and indirect taxation, platform-related legislation such as the upcoming Digital Services Act & Digital Markets Act, competition issues and other broader issues such as the rise of seamless commerce (omni-channel retail).

e-Logistics Working Committee: The e-Logistics Working Committee deals with different topics related to the parcel delivery market, at domestic and cross border level. In particular, the focus is on all global issues that are relevant for e-commerce and have an impact on postal/parcel delivery services, including Value Added Tax and Customs issues, standardization and other topics.

Digital Transactions & Innovation Working Committee: The Digital Transactions and Innovation Working Committee deals with a wide range of topics with the objective of promoting a competitive Indian payment landscape that will enable the development of innovative, cost-effective and secure payment services. Some of the those topics will include the digital transformation of payments, consumers trust and convenience, as well as cross-border/pan-Indian reach of payments.

Sustainability Working Committee: The Sustainability Working Committee aims at bringing forward the expertise and experience of the e-commerce sector to help shape the right regulatory framework for a twin digital and green transition/recovery. The Committee will cover the policy work-streams ranging from Packaging, Labour, product policy, consumer policy to sustainable mobility and “green” taxation.

Platforms Working Committee:The Platforms Working Committee mostly focusses on implementation, enforcement and other practical issues with regards to online platform-related legislation. It acts as a forum of exchange between national e-commerce associations, digital sellers and online marketplaces. It also functions as an internal “advisory body” to the e-Regulations Working Committee and externally to policymakers. Issues related to FDI in retailing, ( FDI may drain out the country's revenue share to foreign countries which can harm the nation's overall economy), domestic retail players not being able to withstand the competition from MNCs and others such issues are taken up on priority.

Digital Commerce Committee: A special purpose committee from amongst its membership base, to represent the sellers, often held back by barriers such as legal uncertainty due to unclear or very different rules, taxation and payment systems that differ greatly, or high prices of delivery due to a lack of transparency, in the market. Other difficult barriers to overcome when selling across the country are related to (online) payments, competition issues, language, client relationships and marketing. The Digital Commerce Committee can provide concrete recommendations on how to overcome these barriers to growth of ecommerce.