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India should frame ecommerce policy immediately: CAIT to PM Modi

India should frame ecommerce policy immediately: CAIT to PM Modi
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
30 Nov, 2020

The confederation of all India traders (CAIT) on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce an ecommerce policy along with a regulatory authority to monitor the ecommerce business in the country, according to a letter seen by TechCircle.

The retail trade body, in the letter, sought to prevent “brazen” foreign direct investment (FDI) policy violations by ecommerce companies that allegedly deter retail vendors from adopting digital commerce.

CAIT said that traders across the country have been adopting digital commerce. “However, we are pained to inform you that big ecommerce companies having deep pockets are leaving no stone unturned in monopolizing the ecommerce business and retail trade of India with their mal-practices and violating FDI policy of the government and relevant laws and rules,” Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary-general, CAIT, said in the letter to Modi.

Read: Reworked draft ecommerce policy on anvil with focus on Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Despite making several complaints against ecommerce companies, no concrete action has been taken, Khandelwal said in the letter, terming it a major roadblock for small businesses to conduct online business activities.

Read: Flipkart, Amazon get notices over non-compliance of country of origin rule

“It is most unfortunate that even being the custodian of the law, various government authorities have failed to protect the sanctity of the policy, and law of the govt. Though the Ministry of Commerce has taken some initiatives to impress upon them to conduct their business activities under the purview of the law but these ecommerce companies have avoided the law on one pretext or the other,” Khandelwal said.

Additionally, the trade body which represents 60 million merchants, requested that anomalies and disparities of the FDI policy’s press note 2 be removed, to make space for explicit and speaking policy of the government.

CAIT did not immediately respond to TechCircle’s request for comment on details about the anomalies and disparities of the memo. Press note 2 of the 2018 policy prohibits FDI in inventory-based ecommerce platforms and their subsidiaries which sell on the platforms.

Read: CAIT launches online marketplace, opposes non-essentials delivery by e-commerce cos

Khandelwal’s letter also comprised CAIT’s suggestions pertaining to the government’s campaigns on ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat.’ It suggested formation of a Joint Committee at national, state and each district levels.