New Delhi: The government is looking at holding inter-ministerial consultation on the draft personal data protection bill—with the “widest consultation and feedback"—before introducing it in the Parliament, information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.

“You must understand one thing about data legislation, this being a very seminal legislation, widest consultation is always desirous. One was done by justice Srikrishna, other we put online, some stakeholders sought more time, we gave that, and then there’ll be inter-ministerial consultation," Prasad told reporters at the launch of development monthly magazine Yojana’s December issue on Digital India.

The draft bill, titled The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, has been prepared by a high-level expert group headed by former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna.

The high-level committee submitted the draft and its report to the government on 27 July, following which the information technology ministry had sought public feedback by 10 October.

Earlier, there were reports that the government is hoping to introduce the bill in the coming winter session of Parliament, which begins in the second week of December.

With the pending inter-ministerial consultation, the move seems less likely.

However, Prasad said the government is working on “fast-tracking" the process.

The bill deals with issues such as collection, storage and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties and compensation, code of conduct and an enforcement model.

According to Prasad, data security and data privacy are government priorities and that it is in constant discussions with stakeholders on these issues.

The latest edition of Yojana, a monthly published by ministry of information and broadcasting, also has a section on cyber security.

“Digital India initiatives have gone beyond political barriers. No state or central government has opposed the new initiative of the Modi government that has the potential to change India," added Prasad.

In less than five years, the government has made 307 government services available on the Umang platform and efforts are on to bring around 1,200 central and state services on this platform, he said.

UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) provides a single platform for all Indians to access pan-India e-gov services ranging from central to local government bodies and other citizen-centric services.

Yojana is published in 13 languages—English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Oriya.

It has a subscriber base of over 250,000 and a readership of over 800,000, including planners and policymakers and those sitting for competitive exams.

Seeking dialogue

The Draft bill has been prepared by group led by B.N. Srikrishna

The Srikrishna committee submitted the draft to the government on 27 July

Govt is in talks with stakeholders on issues the bill deals with