NEW DELHI: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the government will soon issue a “clarification” on foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce, as e-commerce giants have been flouting the policy.
“The FDI policy has been crystal clear ever since it first came up, but certain instances have come to our notice that the policy is not being followed in letter and spirit. We will be clarifying that very shortly,” commerce and industry minister said in a virtual briefing.
The development comes in the backdrop of various complaints by domestic traders’ body like CAIT against e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Flipkart and others.
Local traders allege that the e-tailers have been flouting the FDI norms by promoting preferential sellers, influencing product prices by the means of deep discounts, and through various anti-competitive practices.
They have been constantly asking the government to take action against e-commerce operators.
Last month, the consumer affairs ministry proposed changes in the consumer protection rules to safeguard the interests of consumers and also make e-commerce companies more accountable and responsible.
While e-commerce companies opposed the changes, the ministry have sought comments from relevant stakeholders by July 6.
“We believe that our most important stakeholder is the consumer and we wanted to make sure that consumer protection prevails over everything else.
By announcing the e-commerce policy for consumer protection, we have demonstrated that our first and foremost concern is the consumer, 1.3 billion Indians are our first and foremost priority,” Goyal said.
In the past, the DPIIT had had also asked online retailers for better enforcement of these rules. However, retail traders claim that these companies have still managed to openly flout these norms.