Issue new FDI & e-commerce policy to save 80 million traders: CAIT
Copy of Letter of Request to Shri Piyush Goyal from Confederation of All India Traders
Shri Piyush Goyal
Hon’ble Minister for Commerce and Industry
Government of India
Dear Shri Piyush Goyal Ji,
Subject: Issuance of a new Press Note on FDI Policy and release of an e-commerce policy
We take this opportunity to compliment Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who always stood as Champion for small businesses and your good self for taking a firm and bold stand on this critical issue from time to time which is a ray of hope for the traders.
We have resolved that we shall be continuing our fight against foreign funded e- commerce entities and won’t allow them to become second edition of East India Company to destroy and dismantle not only e- commerce but even retail trade as well.
We bring to your kind notice that the business community of the Country is highly disturbed to see that over after making a request to your good self which has been found logical by you and your solemn assurance to bring a new Press Note clarifying the FDI policy for multi brand retail more explicitly, so far the matter of issuance of new Press Note seems to be in a dump yard and the traders of India have been forced to face the brunt and rude violation of the provisions of FDI Policy 2018. An enormous loss has been caused to the domestic trade of the Country.
It has been our continued and repeated request to you and your good office to issue a new Press Note clarifying the FDI Policy and to initiate strict action against foreign e-commerce marketplace entities for their subsisting attacks on the FDI Policy and the law of the land. It is pertinent that your office initiates stringent action against Amazon and Walmart because the law of the land must not only apply to small and medium retailers but also equally apply to global behemoths like Amazon and Walmart who have so far enjoyed almost full impunity for their actions. Had it been the case of a small trader in the Country, we are sure that multiple agencies would have taken action and that too without giving any opportunity of hearing. It looks that there are different standards and different readings of policy and the law by the Authorities.
We invoke your kind attention to our earlier complaints and representations against the illegal practices of foreign e-commerce players, Amazon and Flipkart (Walmart) which have been at the helm of destroying small and medium Retail shops, which are the backbone of the Indian retail industry, by blatant violation and abuse of the law but deeply regret that although two years have passed but the Government has not taken any action against them which compel us to believe that the department is interested only to serve the interest of foreign companies and is providing them impunity in their continued blatant violation of the FDI policy. Further, our request to formulate an e-commerce policy having a Regulatory mechanism to regulate and monitor the riu, retail trade is still pending since the year 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 Fayde ka Sauda the retail trade of India which is generating an annual turnover of Rs.115 kah wore is devoid of any policy.
We have failed to understand that several actions of various e-commerce companies are absolutely contrary to the provisions of FDI policy and the cases where no investigation is required, even then no action has been taken so far against them, It is more surprising that it is happening even after your categorical announcements made number of times on public forums that the Government will not allow any e-commerce company to flout the policy or the law of the Government and still they are continuously violating the law without any fear of law. There is no action from the Government. It appears that the administrative system is least bothered about the stand and intent of the Government and is trying to supress the issue of issuing a fresh Press note and an e-commerce policy for the reasons best known to them.
The most rampant and subsisting violation by Amazon and Flipkart has been the creation of a complex web of affiliated entities, by may of equity control or economic participation which has allowed both entities for facilitation of capital dumping. 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 in between. May we recall the silver line of Indian jurisprudence that “Justice delayed is Justice denied”.
Thank you. With kind regards
National Secretary General
Confederation of All India Traders