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Confederation of All India Traders has requested to Shri Piyush Goyal Hon’ble Minister for Commerce & Consumer Affairs to not to relax E Commerce Policy and FDI Rules on E Commerce. Their representation is as follows:-

“Vyapar Bhawan”
925/1, Naiwala, Karol Bagh, New Delhi-110005,
Phone: +91-11-45032664, Telefax +91-11-45032665
E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.cait.in

02nd January, 2022

Ref. No.: 3323/1/50

Shri Piyush Goyal
Hon’ble Minister for Commerce &
Hon’ble Minister for Consumer Affairs
Government of India
New Delhi

Dear Shri Piyush Goyal Ji,

Sub : Rolling out of E commerce Rules under CPA, E Commerce Policy and FDI Rules on E Commerce

We invoke your kind and immediate attention to above three most important policy initiatives related to streamlining e-commerce trade in India, the rolling out of which is keenly awaited by the traders of the Country since they are facing great harassment at the hands of foreign e-commerce companies and an uneven level playing field. The trading community is deeply anguished over the rampant violation of laws and rules by several global e-commerce giants and utter failure of the concerned Agencies to book them to the books. It is deeply regrettable that it is all happening under the nose of the Government despite your unequivocal warnings at several times expressed at various national & international platforms for more than two years. Such a scenario has created a “Highway or My Way” type situation in the Country.

We wish to place sentiments of the trading community that any dilution in the proposed e-commerce rules under CPA will percolate a strong feeling across the Country that the Government has succumbed to some hidden pressures and the e-commerce landscape has been offered to the global e-tailers to twist the e-commerce trade to their advantage even at the cost of flouting the laws and the policy that runs contrary to the democratic independence of trade guaranteed by the Constitution of India to the people of the Country. The arguments like any strong policy action will affect the prospects of entry of foreign investment in India are absurd and baseless having no stands to leg. Through e-commerce no substantial FIN is entering into India rather the money which comes under the guise of FI)I is used for cash burning or to support huge losses incurred by global e-tailers. We are of the firm opinion that e-commerce democracy in India should not be compromised at all.

We invoke your kind attention towards the draft e-commerce rules placed in public domain in 2019, on which extensive consultations and debate has been held during, which few of the Government Agencies have pointed out objections on few clauses C inserted in the said roles purely on technical grounds and devoid any merits. These objections as appeared in media are more of a technical nature. Though we do not subscribe to such views but even then, we submit that since insertion of such provision as envisaged in draft of c-commerce roles most either be invariably included in e-commerce rules or in c-commerce policy or in FDI Policy for e-commerce within a time bound manner to ensure an even level e-commerce business in India.

We take this opportunity to add that it has been duly established that several foreign funded e-commerce companies are indulging into predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, exclusivity, owning inventory and preferential seller system in their business practices, facilitating sale of prohibited goods like marijuana as per a recent racket busted by MP Police. facilitating supply of contraband items required for making explosives as was done in case of bombs used in Pulwama attack whose culprits were arrested by NIA in March, 2020 and have great regrets that so far not even a single action has been taken by the Government against respective e-commerce companies.

We are of the considered opinion that provisions prohibiting deep discounts and flash sales, making e-commerce marketplaces responsible for the quality of goods sold on their platforms, setting up of robust grievance redressal mechanisms by the e-commerce companies, stoppage of market-distorting discount offers, mis-selling of goods and senses, equal treatment of all sellers registered on their platforms and no adoption of algorithms having liberty to select sellers for sale of goods or services, should be the integral and non compromising points of the trading community which duly validate the principle of natural justice and e-commerce freedom in India.

Since we are not urging for any special favor for the traders but certainly inclined to ensure that laws, rules & regulations and policies of the Government must be followed by one & all both in letter & spirit. It will facilitate the domestic traders to adopt e-commerce in a big way as per the call of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for ‘Digital India”. If the even level playing is not granted, the traders of the Country shall be compelled to wind up their businesses in phase wise manner because of the manipulative and unethical business practices of the e-commerce companies. We are sure that the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi must not have this intention.

We eagerly look forward for your valued actions on this crucial & critical issue.

Thank you. With highest regards
Truly yours

Praveen Khandelwal
National Secretary General
Confederation of All India Traders

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