Traders’ body CAIT Wednesday termed the government’s reported move to drop the draft of e-commerce policy as a regressive step, and has written to commerce minister Suresh Prabhu registering its protest. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that the country’s e-commerce market has considerably grown in size and scale which needs a codified policy and a regulatory authority to regulate and monitor the market.
The objection has been raised after reports that the government has decided to drop the draft of e-commerce policy that proposed allowing 49 per cent FDI in inventory model, and set up a committee of secretaries to decide on a new set of recommendations.
The traders’ body said that the policy is already delayed for more than three years and if dropped, it will be a blow to the fair trade practices in e-commerce and will give every opportunity to e-commerce portals to continue with predatory pricing, deep discounting and loss funding, creating an uneven level playing field.
“If the policy is shelved, it will imply that the government is succumbing to the pressure of MNCs and online companies who want the e-commerce market to remain a a freeplay ground,” it said in the letter.
As per a report by marketing research firm eMarketer, the e-commerce sales will rise about 31 per cent to USD 32.7 billion in 2018 and the e-commerce market in India is expected to grow to USD 200 billion by 2026, largely due to increasing Internet and smartphone penetration. In absence of any policy to regulate such a vast landscape with potential, players will be free to set their own rules and play the game according to their vested profitability, it said.