The Confederation of All India Traders has written to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, asking him to set up an e-commerce regulator, expedite the release of the e-commerce policy, and extend the FDI rules to include domestic companies as well.
“In the wake of the recent clarification of DIPP regarding FDI policy in e-commerce, it is seen that various global e-commerce players jointly and severely have initiated a vested interest campaign demanding deferment, extension, amendment or changes in the said policy, even threatening to exit from Indian business which is quite unreasonable, uncalled for, arbitrary and amounts to exercising pressure tactics on the government,” CAIT said in its letter.
“We are constrained to mention that if the government succumbs to their arbitrary pressure, the trading community will be left with no other alternative but to launch a national campaign against any such deferment or extension or otherwise, and will expose sinister designs of these global e-commerce players,” the traders’ body added in the letter.
CAIT pointed out that the FDI policy had been in effect since 2016, and the recent press note issued by the Ministry of Commerce was just a clarification of the policy, whereas the e-commerce companies had been maintaining that this constituted fresh curbs.
It made several suggestions, including the setting up of an independent regulatory authority for e-commerce, which should be empowered to take action against any entity violating the rules.
CAIT also called for the expedited release of the “long-awaited” e-commerce policy.
“The FDI norms as spelled out in the policy should also be made applicable on domestic e-commerce players as well to restrict them for adopting any unethical business practices and remain at par with other e-commerce players,” the letter said.
“The e-commerce players should be directed to obtain a compliance certificate for every financial year for complying with the norms of the policy and those who are not able to obtain the said certificate should not be allowed to raise funds and the operations of their portal should be suspended,” CAIT added.