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Policy Wrap: No FDI cap for insurance intermediaries; Govt may go easy on monitoring online content

Policy Wrap: No FDI cap for insurance intermediaries; Govt may go easy on monitoring online content
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The central government has removed the cap on foreign equity investment in insurance intermediaries. The ministry of electronics and information technology might drop the clause asking social media platforms to use artificial intelligence to monitor content. 

No cap on foreign equity for insurance intermediaries

The central government has removed the cap on foreign equity investment in insurance intermediaries including brokers, loss assessors, surveyors and insurance agents. 

Previously, the foreign ownership was capped at 49%. 

A notification issued on September 2 paves the way for the execution of the announcement made as part of Budget 2019-20. 

The move is expected to encourage competition, improve the distribution of insurance and penetration. It also benefits digital intermediaries like Policybazaar. 

MeitY to go easy on content monitoring for social media firms

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) might drop the contentious clause asking social media platforms to use artificial intelligence (AI) to actively monitor content from the draft intermediary guidelines proposed in December 2018. 

The decision is likely to help social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and others. 

The ministry will instead ask the platforms to develop AI monitoring tools to track accounts transmitting illegal, obscene or inflammatory content and take them down, The Economic Times reported. 

In their submissions to the ministry on the draft guidelines, social media platforms had asked for easing the norms under the safe harbour provision.

Fintech steering committee submits report

An inter-ministerial steering committee formed in March 2018 submitted its report to the ministry of finance suggesting reforms in the peer-to-peer lending sector.

The report also spoke about a legal framework for consumer protection in the fintech space in India.

The committee chaired by the secretary of the department of economic affairs held consultations with stakeholders including banks, startups and investors in the fintech and financial inclusion space.

The panel’s recommendations include opening up alternative forms of digital KYC for private entities.

CCI releases interim observations on ecommerce market study 

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has released interim observations on its market study on the ecommerce sector in India.

The market study covered online and offline retailers, manufacturers, online marketplaces, service providers and payment system operators. 

In a workshop conducted on August 30, CCI brought together restaurants and aggregator services like Zomato and Swiggy, hotel associations and bodies with online travel aggregators as well as online marketplaces with seller associations and mobile manufacturers to discuss the impact of online sellers on brick-and-mortar businesses. 

CCI has said the study has not been done with regard to a potential breach of competition law. However, the commission can take up suo-moto cases if need be.

The regulator has invited feedback and comments from stakeholders till September 30. 

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