Industry experts believe e-commerce firms, especially Amazon India and Flipkart, are being unnecessarily targeted as offline retailers have for long owned private labels. “Physical retailers also have private labels. It is a legitimate business practice. There is no reason to single out e-commerce firms. It is not a publicly held firm, so they have every right to have a run with their business plans. Let the Competition Commission of India look into any issues, if there are any,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman, Technopak Advisors.
believe that if they have to shut down or cut down the amount of business they do from their private labels, it would have an impact on the number of direct and indirect jobs they provide and might have to rethink their expansion plans in the country.
The e-commerce policy
has for long been a cause for concern for the burgeoning digital marketplace sector in the country. Early last year when the draft e-commerce firm was announced, many alleged it to be one-sided and highly tilted towards Indian firms and traders.
SoftBank Group had then written to the NITI Aayog, commerce ministry as well as officials of the finance ministry, asking them to keep in mind the interests of investors and other stakeholders before finalising the e-commerce policy.
Trader bodies such as Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and Swadeshi Jagran Manch have been constantly putting pressure on the government to bring out an e-commerce policy that keeps in mind the interests of traders.
“The business community of the country stands in solidarity with the government on issue of changes made in the FDI policy in e-commerce for bringing transparency, level playing field, and fair competition. It brings to end an era of unethical business practices of exclusivity, predatory pricing, deep discounting, and loss funding being constantly adopted by global e-commerce players,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general, CAIT.
CAIT has said categorically that any move to bring further changes in the FDI policy to the advantage of global players under any kind of pressure would be opposed by them.