‘Defer implementation of new e-com rules’

Flipkart warns of ‘significant customer disruption’ without 6-month breather

January 29, 2019 11:58 pm | Updated 11:58 pm IST - New Delhi

Online retailer Flipkart has told the government the company faces the risk of “significant customer disruption” if the implementation of new curbs for e-commerce is not delayed by six months, a source said.

The new foreign investment restrictions will, from February 1, bar e-commerce companies from selling products from firms in which they have an equity interest and also ban them from reaching deals with sellers to only sell on one platform.

In a letter to industries department earlier this month, Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the rules required the company to assess “all elements” of its business operations, according to a person privy to the communication.

“Redesigning numerous elements of our technology systems to ensure that we can validate and evidence our compliance, in such a compressed period of time, has caused us to divert significant resources,” Mr. Krishnamurthy wrote in the letter. The new curbs were only announced on December 26. He also said the regulations could cause “significant customer disruption” if the deadline for compliance wasn’t extended. He asked for a six-month delay.

Govt. may stand firm

Officials have said the government was unlikely to change the policy’s implementation date.

The policy move has jolted Walmart, which last year invested $16 billion in Flipkart, and Amazon, which has committed $5.5 billion in India investments. Industry sources have said the new policy would raise compliance costs and force Amazon and Flipkart to review their business arrangements in the country.

Flipkart and Amazon have both started working on approaching thousands of sellers on their platforms to ensure the companies comply with the regulations, three sources aware of the matter said, even as they seek a deadline extension.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.