In a communication sent to noted Industrialists & Organisations working in different verticals of trade & Industry, Confederation of All India Traders has called for a formation of bigger joint forum to fight unfair business practices, violation of law, Act and Rules by E-commerce companies.
Confederation of All India Traders
Ref. No. 3286/1/50
29th September, 2021
Shri Ratan Tata
Dear Shri Ratan Tata Ji,
We, on behalf of 8 crore small businesses of self-organised sector wish to draw your kind and immediate attention towards continuous mal-practices in e- commerce sector by several leading foreign funded e-commerce companies in India and also gross violation of rules, Act and laws of the Country by them posing a great threat to small businesses of India. Needless to write that they are indulging into predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, exclusivity, preferential sellers and owing inventory which is strictly prohibited by Press Note No 2 of FDI Policy, 2018 .
Since they are working exactly in a manner similar to business practices which were adopted by East India Company, therefore we have been compelled to draw a narrative that they want to convert them as second edition of East India Company. It is a known fact that these companies are selling goods at unbelievable discounts which do not happen in normal business practices thereby making the consumer habitual of purchasing cheap goods. This business practice is killing small businesses due to uneven level playing field and thus they are killing competition, abusing their dominance and creating a monopolistic e commerce market which is never in the larger interest of the economy & the Country. It is certainly not the case of foreign investment but purely a cash burning model which is an unhealthy and unfair business practices.
As a matter of fact, it is not only in India but in different other Countries of the World, these global companies are always on the other side of the law and in several companies they have been awarded punishment or facing investigations and inquiries which shows that they are habitual law offenders. The traders of the Country are not against e-commerce but rapidly adopting e-commerce as their additional avenue of business and promoting “phygital model” of e-commerce in India.
After great persuasion with the Govt and laying emphasis on necessity of E- Commerce Rules in the Country, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has proposed several e-commerce rules under The Consumer Protection Act which are yet to be notified. These rules are slated to be applicable on all types of business entities either foreign or Indian origin which are either selling goods or providing services through any digital mode. We are of the considered view that the proposed rules are in furtherance of “Atmnirbhar Bharat” vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
As you might have noticed in the media that these global companies though on one side claim that they are complying every rule concerning e-commerce yet they are putting all roadblocks either legal or otherwise to ensure that investigation by CCI against their business model do not take place. Further, they are making lofty claims for empowering small traders which is a blatant lie and an attempt to befool the people while protecting their own skin. We are well prepared to debate this issue face to face with them at any public platform.
Since you are one of the captains of Indian Industry / apex organisation your sector, we take liberty in invoking your attention to the above burning issue which will not only hurt the small traders , distributors , self owned enterprises, farmers but also the Industry at a large. We are of the view that if e commerce & retail trade is captivated by these global companies, it will also greatly effect the Indian Manufacturers and producers.
Prompted by a desire to cement a bigger forum of all forces of retail trade of India, we seek your valued support against our fight for justice and impress upon the Government to enforce proposed e- commerce rules, implementation of an e-commerce policy and issuance of a new Press Note in place of Press Note No 2 of the FDI policy after removing any disparity, loopholes or escape routes.
Thank you. With regards
National Secretary General
Confederation of all India Traders