Industry flags lack of dispute resolution; working on solution, say IT minister

This roadblock was pointed out by several industry leaders to Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad during a meeting here on Friday.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:June 17, 2017 2:56 am
Ravi Shankar Prasad, digital economy, information technology sector, IT minister, business news IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (centre) with MoS PP Chaudhary (left) and Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar in New Delhi on Friday. Abhinav Saha

In the road to having a $1-trillion digital economy in India in the next few years, one of the key challenges faced by the information technology sector is the lack of a dispute resolution mechanism. This roadblock was pointed out by several industry leaders to Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad during a meeting here on Friday.

The IT ministry had called for a meeting with the captains of the industry to discuss a plan to realise the $1-trillion digital economy aim. Several top officials and industry leaders including Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar, Google India’s Rajan Anandan, Wipro’s Rishad Premji, Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo, Internet and Mobile Association of India President Subho Ray and Hike Messenger CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal attended the meeting.

Prasad, who was chairing the meeting, told reporters afterwards that the government was open to developing a mechanism to resolve disputes in which IT firms are involved. IT secretary Aruna Sundararajan said: “This (the dispute resolution mechanism) is for IT companies, who supply goods and services to government but sometimes they’re not able to get their monies back because sometimes there is some dispute which crops up. So we’re trying to set up a mechanism to smoothen that process”.

An industry representative also said that dispute resolution mechanism will be helpful in dealing with white-collar crimes in the digital sector, considering many more transactions were now happening electronically.

Prasad said that deliberations brought the need to promote an ecosystem to facilitate start-ups in areas such as education, agriculture and healthcare. “I have decided that we will have a coordinated action with health, agriculture and HRD ministries to promote an ecosystem to facilitate more start-ups…,” he said. Prasad added that the idea of setting up special innovative zones for start-ups will be explored and a framework for startup cluster policy will be developed.

Prasad also said the government will work on formulating a new strategies to support growth including a new electronics policy, software product policy and a framework for data security. While the finer details of these policies were not disclosed, two of the said policies – for electronic manufacturing and software products – have already been floated by the IT ministry in draft forms.

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