Govt welcomes investments that come under e-comm laws in India, says Union minister Piyush Goyal.
Amazon on Friday said it plans to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025 through continued investments in technology, infrastructure and logistics networks. The new jobs will add up to the 7,00,000 jobs the Seattle-based e-commerce major created in India over the last six years.
The announcement comes two days after founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said the company would invest an incremental $1 billion in the country to digitally enable micro, small and medium enterprises and traders, taking the firm’s total India investment commitment to $6 billion. The CEO, who was in India to attend an in-house event, also said Amazon would use its global footprint to export $10 billion worth of ‘Make in India goods’ by 2025.
In a scathing attack on Amazon, commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the firm was not “doing a favour” by investing 1 billion dollar in the country while indicating that the huge investments were probably to fund the firm’s losses. On Friday, the minister, however, changed tack saying investments made within regulations are welcome. “There are some laws regarding e-commerce in India. We welcome investments that come under those laws,” Goyal said.
Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart have lately come under scanner for doling out deep discounts and hurting small and medium businesses. Following a plea by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, the Competition Commission of India had, earlier this week, ordered its director general to investigate Amazon and Flipkart on alleged charges of deep discounting, exclusive arrangements and preferential listing of sellers.
Nearly a year ago, the government’s revised FDI norms in e-commerce came into effect, which barred online firms having foreign investment like Flipkart and Amazon from selling products of the entities in which they hold stake or whose inventory they control. It disallowed them from asking a seller to sell any product exclusively on their platforms. Separately, the government is also in the process of devising an e-commerce policy to create a level-playing field between online and offline players.
“We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years,” Bezos said in a press statement. “We’ve seen huge contributions from our employees, extraordinary creativity from the small businesses we’ve partnered with, and great enthusiasm from the customers who shop with us—and we’re excited about what lies ahead,” Bezos added.
The jobs created both directly and indirectly will be across industries, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing, Amazon said.
Bezos’ India visit saw over 5 lakh traders under the aegis of CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) holding protests across 300 cities.
The government has prioritised job creation and skilling initiatives, including the training of more than 400 million people by 2022 in rural and urban areas. “Amazon’s job creation commitment and investment in traders and
MSMEs complement these social inclusion and social mobility efforts by creating more opportunities for people in India to find employment, build skills, and expand entrepreneurship opportunities,” the company said.