Ensure Online Platforms Adhere to Norms: Top Retailers to Government

The retailers have appealed for further clarification regarding pricing of products and discounting.

Published: 07th April 2016 11:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2016 11:30 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

MUMBAI:  Top retailers, including Future Group, Aditya Birla Retail and Shoppers' Stop today urged the government to strictly implement norms with respect to online marketplaces and said they are prepared to take legal recourse if such platforms continue to flout rules.

"We have sent a representation to the government asking for further clarifications so that there is no violation in implementation of the policy," B S Nagesh, chairman of Retailers' Association of India (RAI) told reporters here.

"We are prepared to approach the courts once again in the next few weeks if the norms are not strictly implemented," he added.

RAI is awaiting the reports of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the next four weeks on whether e-commerce companies have skirted the country's foreign direct investment (FDI) rules by deploying overseas funds.

"We are awaiting the reports of the Enforcement Directorate on whether e-commerce companies have flouted FDI rules by deploying overseas funds," he said.

The Delhi High Court had ordered the ED last November to investigate the practices of e-commerce companies, when it was hearing a case by footwear owners that India bars overseas capital in the sector.

Stressing that the laws should be strictly implemented, Kishore Biyani, the CEO of Future Group, said that grocery and food retail should not be run with foreign money.

"All the hullabaloo about FDI in retail came in the grocery business. It should not be run with foreign money.

Even after the rules have come inventory model is still being practised.... According to the definition, these companies are flouting the rules," he stated.

The retailers have appealed for further clarification regarding pricing of products and discounting.

They are also asking for all details of transactions between sellers and buyers on portals to ensure transparency, and that no seller should have over 25 per cent share on the marketplace.

Further, they have raised a red flag over marketplaces selling their own private labels, opening up physical stores to showcase products, and discrepancies in collection of state taxes.

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