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Statement on Amazon misconstrued, says Piyush Goyal

Mr. Goyal had also said the Competition Commission of India was probing the business model of Amazon and Flipkart following allegations of unfair business practices. Photo: File

Mr. Goyal had also said the Competition Commission of India was probing the business model of Amazon and Flipkart following allegations of unfair business practices. Photo: File  

Minister, however, stresses that government welcomes all investments but they should adhere to rules and regulations

A day after he was slammed for his remark that Amazon did not do any favour to India by investing USD 1 billion, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal clarified on Friday saying his statement regarding Amazon was misconstrued.

The Minister, however, stressed that the government welcomed all investments but they should adhere to rules and regulations of the country and they should not create unfair competition for small traders and businessmen in the country.

“We welcome all types of investments. But if the foundation of any investment violates law, then there will be a legal process. Some people think I said something negative against Amazon. If you look at the context of my statement, I said investment should come within the law and regulations. This process is followed across the world,” he told reporters in Ahmedabad when asked to comment on his statement that triggered widespread reactions.

“There are some laws regarding eCommerce India. We welcome investments that come under those laws. But this investment should not create unfair competition to small traders and retail businessmen in India,” he stated.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi, Mr. Goyal said Amazon was not doing a favour to India when they invested a billion dollars in the country.

“They [Amazon] may have put in a billion dollars but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then jolly well will have to finance that billion dollar. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars,” he said.

Mr. Goyal had also said the Competition Commission of India (CCI) was probing the business model of Amazon and Flipkart following allegations of predatory pricing, deep discounting, exclusivity and preferential seller treatment amidst protests by small businessmen, retailers and traders.

On Wednesday, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos announced his plan to invest USD 1 billion or approximately Rs 7,092 crore in India and enabling USD 10 billion in cumulative exports in the next five years by digitally enabling micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and small traders in India.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:50:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/statement-on-amazon-misconstrued-says-piyush-goyal/article30586744.ece

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