Based on the exclusive revelation by Reuters, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has taken strong exception & condemned global giant Amazon & U.S. Embassy India for their uncalled & disrespectful remarks made against Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal in an email sent to Mr John Kerry, PMO India and United States Trade Representative. Text of the letter is as follows:-
Confederation of All India Traders
Ref. No. 3221/1/50
23rd May, 2021
Shri Piyush Goyal,
Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry,
Government of India
Subject: Utterly Condemnable Remarks made by Amazon and U.S. Mission in India.
Dear Shri Piyush Goyal Ji,
We invoke your kind and immediate attention towards a media story of a global wire Agency with a title “U.S. defended Amazon after article showed company bypassed Indian law” of 21st May 2021. We deeply regret the irresponsible and condemnable behavior of the American behemoth Amazon and the U.S. Mission in India. The US Embassy in India in an internal email purported & reportedly sent by Mr. Carnegie to Mr. John Kerry, one of President Joe Biden’s top envoys stating that “This could come up in the call since as you know Minister Goyal is prone to bring up tangential topics,”. It is most striking that the note was prepared by Mr. Carnegie defending Amazon India’s business illegal practices which have come under the lens of regulatory and enforcement agencies in India. This is not the first time that the Country has been humiliated. As per the same global wire agency in another story titled “Test the Boundaries’ it was reported that an internal note of Amazon referred to our Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi as ‘not an intellectual or an academic person thereby attempted to reduce the stature as the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. The validity of this story can easily be established that although more than 4 months have passed and the global wire Agency has levelled serious charges against Amazon but no substantial action has been taken by Amazon to deny the contents of the said media story.
We strongly deplore both Amazon and the US Mission in India for creating the note to defend Amazon’s position and its illegal business practices after a prominent section of our media exposed Amazon’s illegal, unfair and discriminatory business practices and its violation of wide-ranging Indian laws. The sweeping statement made in the reported e-mail is a blatant attack on the dignity and integrity of the Government of India and reeks of seemingly vested interests that the US Mission in India has in Amazon. It is not just unusual but also unwarranted for the US Embassy to make such remarks against a Cabinet Minister whose reputation precedes him and is an attack on the functioning of a sovereign nation and its Government. It is also unusual that the purpose of such a remark is to defend a private company and its long-standing illegal, unfair and discriminatory practices. It is unimaginable to see how a foreign private company can make such staggering remarks about Hon’ble PM, Government of India or any of its cabinet ministers, especially in a country that is largest democracy of the world and is stated to be one of its biggest markets and become one of its top 5 markets in terms of revenue by 2023.
Amazon has been at the forefront of destroying the backbone of the Indian retail industry i.e. Kirana Retail yet it regularly makes an attempt to paint a picture in which it portrays itself as a savior of small and medium merchants and traders. Amazon’s cat and mouse game with the Government of India has been going on for a long time and it has been indulging in creative structuring of its entities and associated business enterprises to control inventory and subsequently, prices in e-commerce which is expressly prohibited by the FDI Policy. Owing to its ruthless and discriminatory business practices, there are active investigations ongoing by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and before the courts of law.
It is pertinent to note that India has always welcomed Foreign Governments and industry with open arms and has created a conducive environment for business to thrive in India. It is no wonder that under the able leadership of the Hon’ble PM Shri. Narendra Modi and the groundbreaking work done by your good office, India has risen to 63. in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings which is a staggering feat considering that India was 142lnd in the world in 2014. While the Government of India and its functionaries are working tirelessly to engage and facilitate business in India, these foreign governments and private foreign companies are making a mockery of the establishment based out of their deep-rooted prejudices against India and its highest functionaries.
It is to be noted that Amazon and other Companies are finding ways in Press Note No.2 of the FDI policy and we have to admit that the said Press Note does carry some loopholes, therefore, it is our sincere request to you that a fresh Press Note be issued as soon as possible, clarifying the FDI Policy. Further, Amazon and the U.S. Mission in India should be warned to desist from their interference in Indian Policy and its enforcement and also from their utterly irresponsible and derogatory remarks made against the Hon’ble PM and your good self.
We are sure that it will receive your kind and immediate attention.
Thank you. With kind regards.
National Secretary General
Confederation of All India Traders