Alleging that e-commerce firms are openly flouting norms laid down under FDI, traders’ body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has demanded formation of a Regulatory Authority for India’s online retail market.
According to a report in PTI: In a letter to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CAIT said: “e-commerce companies are openly flouting norms laid down under FDI in e-commerce policy of the Government and in absence of any specified rules and regulations are grossly involved in deep discounts, predatory pricing, anti-competitive practices, tax avoidance etc.”
A joint statement by CAIT National President BC Bhartia and its Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that although e-commerce has introduced significant choices for Indian consumers and customers, it has also given rise to many disputes by the consumers purchasing the products from e-commerce websites.
“Since it is a promising business market in the future due to steep rise in internet connections and mobile connectivity, formation of a regulatory authority and specified rules and regulations are all the more required before the situation worsens. Already, the e-commerce companies have vitiated the e-commerce market to a great extent,” they said.
The traders’ body further alleged that e-commerce websites are not following Indian laws at all and are adopting unfair means to grow their business which is creating an uneven level playing field much to the disadvantage of brick-and-mortar shops resulting into diversion of their customers to e-commerce market.
Khandelwal said that in response to a tweet made to DIPP on contravention of FDI guidelines by e-commerce companies, the DIPP on May 10 tweeted that it is responsible for formulation of FDI policy and violation of FDI policy is a part of FEMA which is administered by Reserve Bank and Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement agency.
“Taking advantage of such provisions and loopholes, the e-commerce players have made e-commerce market a free play ground playing the game with their self set rules. Therefore, in order to create a structured and healthy e-commerce market in the country, formation of a regulatory authority and specified rules and regulations must be made by the Government-argued both leaders,” Khandelwal said.