E-commerce: demand for parity between online and offline FDI policy

With the Government holding discussions on FDI (foreign direct investment) in e-commerce with various stakeholders, industry, on Thursday, said there should be a parity between online and offline retail policy.

“FICCI feels that FDI should be allowed in B2C e-commerce with a focus on sourcing from manufacturers and in a phased manner. The idea is to emphasise that there has to be a parity between online and offline retail policy with respect to FDI levels,” the chamber said.

However, CII said that e-commerce in India was at relatively nascent stage and the market was yet to attain full maturity level. The Government on Thursday discussed various issues related with foreign direct investment in e-commerce sector with several stakeholders, including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and industry associations such as CII, FICCI, NASSCOM and others. At present, 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed only in B2B e-commerce and not in retail segment. “By broadening the scope of foreign investments in e-commerce to include inventory apart from marketplace, the government would be placing the Indian industry at par with other emerging markets where both marketplace and inventory models are able to operate freely.”

Nasscom President R. Chandrashekhar said growth of ecommerce was essential because it would enhance efficiency and access to market for small manufacturers and people in the unorganised sectors. — PTI