CAIT warns government of “political repercussions” if it extends e-comm FDI implementation : 31-01-2019

NEW DELHI: Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Wednesday warned the government of a national campaign with a political fallout if it defers the implementation of foreign investment norms in e-commerce from February 1.

“We would like to mention that if any deferment or extension is given, the small traders both offline and online will be compelled to resort to a national campaign against any such move and which may also have political repercussions,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal wrote in a letter to commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu.

The traders’ body asked the government to not buckle under any pressure from big e-commerce players who are still lobbying hard to postpone the date of implementation on the grounds of disruption to their consumer base and needing time to understand the policy to reorganise their business models.

The government has updated the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms to bar any entity related to ecommerce platforms from selling on that site, put limits on how much one vendor can sell there and prohibited e-tailers from giving any preferential treatment to any supplier. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) further clarified on January 3 that that private labels of online platforms will not suffer with the updated norms.

The new framework will come into force on February 1, 2019 and the platforms have to confirm compliance with the guidelines by September 30 of every year for the preceding financial year to the Reserve Bank of India.

Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart have sought an extension from the DIPP. However, the department is not inclined to postpone the implementation date.

“Now it is a matter between 7 crore small traders versus few big MNCs and corporate houses,” CAIT said.

It has asked for a Special Investigation Team to investigate the transactions made in past two years by e-commerce players and a regulatory authority to enforce the policy. It had earlier sought the restrictions imposed on FDI in e-commerce to be made applicable on domestic online players too to have a level paying field.

Source : Times Of India


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