Piyush Goyal asks DPIIT to set up committee for issues related to FDI in e-commerce

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Published: June 26, 2019 1:50:01 PM

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has asked the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to 'immediately' set up a committee pertaining to complains and required clarifications with respect to FDI in e-commerce sector.

Piyush Goyal, subsidies, World Trade Organisation, inflexible labour norms, subsidies,  MEIS, US china, exchange rate indexThe government in its Press Note 2 issued in December detailing guidelines related to selling goods on FDI-backed marketplaces followed by the draft e-commerce policy in February.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has asked the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to ‘immediately’ set up a committee pertaining to complains and required clarifications with respect to FDI in e-commerce sector.

The decision was taken by Piyush Goyal, in a meeting with around 25 e-commerce companies (including Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm, Swiggy, etc.) and top government officials including DPIIT secretary Ramesh Abhishek, Department of Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan etc., on Monday. The committee will be headed by DPIIT additional secretary and will have representatives from Department of Commerce, MSME Ministry, Department of Consumers Affairs and legal experts from the government as members, DPIIT said in a statement.

The government in its Press Note 2 issued in December last year had barred e-commerce marketplaces or their group companies having stake in entities selling goods on their platform or having control on the inventory, from selling goods on their portal. Also, it had said that if more than 25 per cent purchases of goods from a vendor is by the marketplace or its group companies, then the latter would be deemed following inventory-based model instead of a marketplace model.

Following this and draft e-commerce policy launched in February this year, companies like Flipkart and Amazon had sought clarifications and timings pertaining to these guidelines even as trade associations like CAIT had called for bringing domestic players not backed by FDI to be brought under the purview of the policy along with cab hailing companies including Ola and Uber and also to protect the interest of small sellers and driver community.

“We will later challenge Ola and Uber for the kind of monopoly they have maintained in the market and are allowed to charge dynamic fair. This affects traders involved in the transportation business who are constituent of our association. Grofers, Swiggy, Zomato etc., are also adopting the same technique of giving cash back and discounts being funded by investors,” CAIT’s secretary general Praveen Khandelwal had earlier told Financial Express Online.

However, the minister in the meeting assured that small retailers will ‘thrive’ in India and the government is making efforts to “balance the interests of small businesses, retailers, shop owners, and e-commerce companies.

Piyush Goyal will hold another meeting with e-commerce companies, industry members, and government officials after a month.

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