DPIIT To Hold Meetings With Industry, Trader Bodies On FDI In E-Commerce
Stacked boxes sit loaded on an outbound truck at the Amazon Inc. fulfillment center in Bengaluru, India, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg

DPIIT To Hold Meetings With Industry, Trader Bodies On FDI In E-Commerce

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The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will hold a host of meetings with industry and trader associations this month on issues pertaining to foreign direct investment in the e-commerce sector, an official said.

While a meeting with traders’ bodies including Confederation of All India Traders is scheduled on March 17, department officials would meet industry associations on March 19.

Further deliberations would be conducted with concerned ministries and companies engaged in the sector from the week starting from March 22, the official said.

These meetings assume significance as last month Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had said the government was considering coming out with certain clarifications to ensure e-commerce sector works in the “true spirit” of the law and rules.

The minister had said there are certain complaints from consumers and small retailers about certain practices of e-commerce firms, which are under investigation.

CAIT has repeatedly alleged e-commerce players violated Foreign Exchange Management Act and FDI rules. When asked about the meeting on March 17, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said they’d seek early issuance of the clarifications.

“In the meeting, we will impress upon the government to bring those clarification as e-commerce players are violating FDI rules,” he claimed.

He said there should be no ambiguity in the policy. The ministry had forwarded representations by the Confederation of All India Traders of alleged violations by Amazon and Flipkart to the Enforcement Directorate and the Reserve Bank of India for “necessary action”.

As per the current policy, 100% FDI is permitted in marketplace e-commerce activities. It is prohibited in inventory-based activities.

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