Taking a satirical dig at Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal's "no favour" jibe at Amazon Inc founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a series of satirical tweets, said on Thursday the commerce minister should snub more people as it could help India achieve the $5 trillion economy target.
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 an event in Delhi on Thursday, 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."
Saying that snubbing Bezos "makes for a great headline in the world's media", Chidambaram advised Goyal to do it more often. He said Goyal first snubbed Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee and now Bezos. And now, he said, Goyal should "snub (Google CEO) Sundar Pichai and (Microsoft CEO) Satya Nadella" in order to make India a $5 trillion dollar economy.
Commerce Minister snubbing Amazon's Jeff Bezos makes for a great headline in the world's media.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 16, 2020
Targeting the Modi government over the ongoing economic slowdown, Chidambaram said Goyal's snub "will reverse the five successive month decline in imports and the eight successive month decline in exports". He said the commerce minister should snub more people "to boost imports and exports".
The snub will reverse the five successive month decline in Imports and the eight successive month decline in Exports. The— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 16, 2020
Commerce Minister should snub more people to boost Imports and Exports.
Chidambaram concluded saying Goyal's snub meant nothing for Bezos and other tycoons of big multinationals, who live under "the biggest snubber of all time - President Trump".
Commerce Minister first snubbed Nobel winner Dr Abhijit Banerjee. After Bezos, he should snub Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella in order to make India a $5 trillion dollar economy.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 16, 2020
Goyal has been backing offline traders for long and had in past said the government would protect the interests of offline traders at any cost. In October, after complaints by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), he had the asked Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to summon Amazon India and Flipkart over alleged violations of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy.
E-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart are locked in an indirect fight with India's millions of offline traders who have alleged "predatory discount practices" by the online giants in order to boost sales, thereby leading a body blow to these offline retailers.
Fairtrade regulator CCI (Competition Commission of India) had two days ago ordered a probe against Flipkart and Amazon for alleged malpractices, including deep discounting and tie-ups with preferred sellers on their platforms.