3:19 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

RSS wants Modi government to ban Flipkart, Amazon and eBay?

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Claiming that foreign e-commerce firms such as Amazon and eBay are ‘killing domestic players in the Indian market’, the economic wing of the RSS has asked the government to ban them. However, that is not the end of the story. The RSS reportedly wants Indian e-retailers such as Flipkart to be banned as well, as they have high foreign fund infusion.

Reportedly unhappy with the Modi government’s FDI policy, leaders of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier this month for a discussion on the budget and have sought a white paper on FDI.

“We are of the opinion that FDI in e-commerce should be prohibited by law. Though we do not allow FDI in e-commerce sites, they circumvent the law to sell their product in the country. Even Indian e-commerce firms like Flipkart have turned to be foreign now with funding from outside. There is a lacuna in the law and this cannot be allowed. We have asked the Finance Minister to plug loopholes in the law,” Ashwani Mahajan, SJM national convener, told The Indian Express.

Indian law allows FDI in market places that link sellers and buyers. According to a Motilal Oswal report, the $11-billion e-commerce market in India is expected to grow 37% to reach $20 billion by the end of this year.

The government, however, does not have any data on the e-commerce industry. Neither is there a proposal for a regulatory framework for e-commerce.

“E-commerce is more harmful than FDI in retail,” Mahajan said, adding that the firms started their business under the previous UPA government.

Mahajan believes e-commerce firms get into predatory pricing which is ‘unethical’, and will ‘kill’ Indian retailers. “Their explanation for giving high discount is that they are doing it in lieu of the data provided by customers. But ultimately, these foreign companies with deep pockets will destroy Indian retailers,” Mahajan said.

Citing an example, he said while a publisher gives 35% discount on a book to bookshop owners, the CEO of the same publishing firm orders the same book on Flipkart at 50% price. “So we have asked the Finance Minister to ban them by law and plug the loopholes”. Mahajan demanded that Jaitley respond to this in the upcoming budget.

SJM leaders, who also disapproved raising the FDI limit in defence and insurance sectors, asked Jaitley to come out with a white paper on FDI before increasing the FDI cap in other sectors too.

“The government is talking about Make in India, but you are asking for more FDI in different sectors. We want to know what has happened so far. We have asked the government to undertake a study and bring out a white paper,” Mahajan concluded to Indian Express.

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