The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asked Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to announce India's revised Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for more control over the fund flow into foreign funded e-commerce entities like Amazon and Flipkart.
The traders body wanted the government to immediately issue a new Press Note replacing Press Note No.2 of FDI Policy, 2018 to protect the traders of the country from alleged malpractices of such entities.
In a communication sent to Goyal on May 17, B.C.Bhartia and Praveen Khandelwal, national president and secretary general of CAIT respectively, said even after two years of discussions over such a revision, authorities are sleeping on the issue. "The business community of the country has failed to understand that despite various solemn declarations made by the minister on various public platforms that no one will be allowed to violate the policy and the law, still these companies are continuing to flout FDI policy and the law since last three years and no Authority has taken any action against them," the CAIT leaders allege.
Bhartia and Khandelwal also stated that the traders' demand to formulate an e-commerce policy having a regulatory mechanism to regulate and monitor the retail trade has been shelved since 2019. "We have come to the conclusion that e-commerce which is a future mode of business in India will never have an e-commerce policy as the retail trade of India which is generating an annual turnover of Rs.115 lakh crore is devoid of any policy," they stated.
According to CAIT leaders, the most rampant and subsisting violation by Amazon and Flipkart has been the creation of a complex web of affiliated entities, by way of equity control or economic participation. "Preferential treatment to a 'few preferred sellers', predatory pricing, deep discounting, controlling inventory and making e-commerce an area of uneven level playing field are some of the tools of daylight violations which have been brought to the notice of the Government several times in more than past three years but so far nothing has happened and traders of the country have been mercilessly left to bear the grave onslaught of e-commerce entities," they complained.