More reports on: E-business, Government policies

FDI in e-commerce will make India a `dumping ground', say traders

11 July 2015

The commerce ministry is planning to come out with "detailed clarifications" on all aspects related to its e-commerce policy stance after holding consultations with various stakeholders, even as traders have vehemently opposed foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce as, according to them, such a move will make the country a ''dumping ground.''

"Dumping happens when prices are artificially lowered by accessing funds from overseas sources. Currently, e-retailers in India are selling products much below the actual price of the manufacturer," Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said at a stakeholders meeting with the commerce ministry in New Delhi.

"This is nothing but e-commerce dumping. If FDI in e-commerce is allowed, it will facilitate mass-scale dumping of products from all over the globe to India," he said.

Khandelwal suggested that the government make a detailed impact assessment on various stakeholders before giving deciding on the FDI policy in e-commerce or retail.

In fact, CAIT is opposed to FDI in any segment of retail and has urged the government to frame a National Trade Policy for Retail to provide better business opportunities to the Indian retail sector.

The association called upon the government to formulate clear policy guidelines on e-commerce on the lines of the US, the UK, the European Union and China.

The commerce ministry, meanwhile, is seeking feedback from a wider audience to sort out FDI in e-commerce.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) secretary Amitabh Kant held three meetings during the day to take views of various stakeholders on several issues facing the e-commerce sector.

Kant is reported to have first met officials of various public sector banks on issues over payment mechanism of e-commerce. Ne also met representatives of commerce, finance, corporate affairs and consumer affairs ministries to take their views on the matter.

Kant also met representatives of retail companies and industry associations to seek their feedback on the matter, sources said.

Representatives from both domestic and foreign retailers and e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Future Retail, Flipkart, Walmart, H&M, Snapdeal, are reported to have attended the meeting.

The ministry has called a meeting between commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and representative ministers from various states on 15 July for further discussions on the subject.

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