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  • A group of seven top industry associations representing internet and technology giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Adobe has sought withdrawal of the new equalisation levy that comes into force from April 1, due to its widespread negative impact on American companies.

    The central bank, through senior advocate Shyam Divan, argued that though there was no formal ban on cryptocurrencies under any law in existence in India, it had consistently been warning all those dealing with virtual currencies of the risks inherent in them.

    The central bank said this in a response to a petition filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which wanted it to reconsider a 2018 circular directing regulated entities not to deal in cryptocurrencies. RBI said it had not banned crypto but only ringfenced regulated entities like banks from risks associated.

    Advocate Ashim Sood argued that crypto currencies were more like commodities rather than currency and that it was beyond the RBI’s jurisdiction to regulate the field.

    While MSIPS 1.0 successfully managed to attract foreign investments into mobile manufacturing albeit into the low value- additive processes, India needs to focus on the components which have the potential of high-value addition and can be commonly used across the electronics manufacturing sector.

    Agarwal further advocated a razor sharp focus on skilling, grassroot entrepreneurship, driving equal opportunity through greater women's participation as well as Artificial Intelligence backed solutions, and said a multi pronged approach can enable India to meet its target of $5 trillion economy.

    According to sources, Netflix, AltBalaji, Arré, MX Player and Zee5 have written to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) – an industry lobby group that helped draft the code – against DCCC.

    Participants said that while the draft bill addressed matters of ‘consent’ and ‘explicit consent’ for different categories of data, it lacked clarity on what would qualify as consent and explicit consent. The differentiation was required by them to frame necessary compliance measures, they said.

    Their apprehensions include sharing of non-personal data with the government, exceptions that the government has given itself, verification of social media users, certification requirements from the Data Protection Authority, and missing timelines for implementation of the bill.

    IAMAI expressed difference in opinion with the draft policy's understanding of 'data is the new oil'.

    In its submission, the Internet and Mobile Association of India said it has highlighted that e-commerce entities are already regulated by multiple authorities, each of which imposes different obligations and liabilities upon e-commerce entities, creating an atmosphere of regulatory uncertainty for the sector.

    Sources familiar with the matter said the industry believes there are enough laws, including the Information Technology Act, to regulate online content and seek legal recourse. They argued that streaming platforms are meant for private viewing, unlike traditional mediums such as television and cinema, which are broadcast publicly.

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