India will examine concerns raised by foreign technology companies around stringent rules to store data locally, the government said on Tuesday, an issue that has upset firms such as Mastercard and also irked the US government.
On Monday Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and leaders of technology companies discussed several federal plans in the works to push for more stringent data rules. The RBI last year mandated foreign payment firms must store their payments data only in India to allow supervision.
The central bank representative who attended the meeting “assured the industry representatives that the Reserve Bank of India will look into this”, a statement by the commerce ministry said. A lobbying effort by Mastercard, Visa Inc and American Express Co to dilute or reverse the central bank order has failed previously. Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga joined Monday’s meeting via video conference, the government statement said. India wants more stringent data storage rules so it can better access data and conduct investigations when the need arises. Technology companies argue the rules would force them to change their business models, hurt planned investments and raise costs.
Goyal has also assured Indian e-commerce players that their concerns regarding the draft e-commerce policy will be addressed and also asked them to send their concerns to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in the next 10 days.
In a meeting with the Commerce Minister, the e-commerce players told the minister that they felt the draft policy was not “adequately consultative”, an official statement said.