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Policy Wrap: Small biz can board UPI as individuals; two firms certified for drone software

Policy Wrap: Small biz can board UPI as individuals; two firms certified for drone software
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This week, the retail payments body on Monday said that small merchants can board the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as individuals and not businesses – a move aimed at bumping up business adoption of the payment system that transfers money between two bank accounts along a mobile platform, and is primarily used by retail consumers. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) added that these small merchants will have a transaction limit of Rs 50,000 per month and the acquirer can’t charge the merchant onboarded under this category.

Drones

Also this week, in a first, the civil aviation regulator certified two Bengaluru firms -- Skylark Drones Pvt. Ltd and Throttle Aerospace Systems Pvt. Ltd -- for no-permission, no-takeoff software that allows drones to take flight only after a digital signature granting permission.

The companies had applied through an online platform set up by the regulator called Digital Sky, which automates the approval process from a host of authorities including civil aviation safety watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, and the home affairs ministry.

The software developed by Skylark will be marketed to drone manufacturers, along with the data solutions developed by the company, said co-founder Mrinal Pai. “What has been holding the industry back is the absence of NPNT-compliant drones, which can generate unique identification numbers for obtaining permissions on the Digital Sky platform,” said Pai.

E-commerce

Also this week, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal stuck to the stance that the government would allow no multi-brand retail by foreign e-commerce firms.

On the draft e-commerce policy, he asked for submissions from traders and retailer bodies and clarified that business data in the draft would be handled by the ministry of electronics and information technology. The draft made public in February claims sovereign right over data -- an assertion hotly contested by global firms including Amazon, Google and Facebook.

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