The Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) has termed Commerce Minister Piyush Total's statement downplaying the importance of Amazon's India investment plan as bold and pragmatic. In a statement, CAIT said the minister's posture was in line with the traders' known stand of opposing online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
Speaking at an event in Delhi today, Goyal said Amazon chief Jeff Bezos' announcement of $1 billion investment in India as "no favour". CAIT said the association had been maintaining that Amazon and Flipkart were bringing FDI in India only to fund their losses arising out of deep discounting and predatory pricing, which is a direct attempt to destroy the ecosystem of Indian retail by trampling upon the livelihood of seven crore traders.
The minister's statement shows the government is serious about anti-competitive allegations against Amazon and is keenly watching the investigations ordered by Competition Commission of India against the two companies.
"With this stand, the minister has once again reiterated that the government is sensitive to the interests of seven crore traders of India who are severely affected by the malpractices of e-commerce giants. We are extremely satisfied that the commerce minister is so well versed with the problems faced by his citizens," Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, CAIT said.
Goyal's comments came a day after the world's richest man Jeff Bezos announced fresh $1 billion investment to help bring small and medium businesses online in India. During the Raisina Dialogue event in Delhi, Goyal, who has not yet given Bezos an audience, said: "They (Amazon) may have put in a billion dollars but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then jolly well will have to finance that billion-dollar. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars."