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Sitharaman holds talks with states on FDI in e-commerce, retail

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Nirmala Sitharaman Spokesperson 11, Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110001.

New Delhi: States will give their views within 15 days on the matter of opening up the e-commerce sector to FDI, it was decided after Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met states’ representatives here on Wednesday.

“Government of India invited states to discuss the issue of FDI in e-commerce in B2B and B2C and also bringing FDI in multibrand retail,” Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu told reporters after the meeting.

“But one consensus between the states and the centre was there that whatever decision is taken, it must be taken after good deliberation and after engagement with stakeholders at state levels and after assuring ourselves that the interest of the consumers, small retailers as well as SME sector are protected,” he said.

“All the states will give their views and comments on the matter within 15 days to the centre,” he added.

India currently allows 100 percent FDI in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, but not in B2C companies selling directly to consumers.

Jammu and Kashmir Industries Minister Chander Prakash said: “We have to be careful while introducing (FDI) in e-commerce”.

“The FDI in e-commerce needs more debate and discussion. More meetings will be held on the issue. We will discuss the pros and cons in detail in our state. States ask for more time on the issue,” he said.

Some states, including Tamil Nadu, are opposed to FDI in retail and e-commerce.

With retail store operators going to court seeking parity between online and offline retailers, Sitharaman met representatives from both e-commerce and retail companies on Friday to discuss the issue.

A source in the department of industrial policy and promotion told IANS here that DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant told company representatives at the meeting that the sensitive issue required detailed consultations with all stakeholders.

Almost all stakeholders, including from the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry had been invited to Friday’s meeting.

“CAIT urged the government not to turn the Indian retail market into an e-commerce dumping yard by allowing FDI in e-commerce,” its secretary general Praveen Khandelwal told IANS.

The Retailers Association of India (RAI), representing large brick-and-mortar retail companies, moved the Delhi High Court in May seeking a level playing field between online and offline retailers. (IANS)

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CEO Zhang, Alibaba Succeeds Jack Ma as Chairman

The firm made a whopping $25 billion worth sales in a 24-hour period across its e-commerce platforms, last year.

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alibaba
The logo is displayed at the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. VOA

Chinese e-tailer Alibaba Group’s Chief Executive Daniel Zhang will be the new chairman, succeeding its co-founder Jack Ma from September 10, 2019, the global firm announced on Monday.

“Ma will continue as the executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition to Zhang,” a statement quoting the Chinese behemoth said here.

The Hangzhou-based company’s 20th anniversary on September 10, 2019, Zhang will take charge as the new chairman.

Zhang, who was earlier the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taobao, an online shopping portal owned by the Alibaba Group, was appointed the CEO of the Alibaba Group in 2015. He has been with the company since 2007.

Alibaba
Ma is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth. Flickr

The co-founder of the company, Ma, will however, remain as a board member of the Alibaba Group until the annual shareholder meet in 2020, which marks the 21st anniversary of the e-commerce and tech conglomerate.

“While remaining as executive chairman in the next 12 months, I will work closely with Daniel (Zhang) to ensure smooth transition,” Ma said in a letter to the shareholders and employees on the occasion of the company’s 19th anniversary on Monday.

The transition demonstrates that the firm has stepped up from a company that relies on individuals, to one built on a culture of talent development, Ma’s letter addressed to the company’s 86,000 employees said.

Ma will remain a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee, the statement added.

Alibaba
Founded in 1999 by Chinese teacher-turned-entrepreneur Ma as a platform to connect Chinese manufacturers with the world. VOA

The Alibaba Partnership has 36 partners, who are the senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates, including movie-making firm Alibaba Pictures, cloud computing firm Alibaba Cloud, financial services firm Ant Financial among others.

Founded in 1999 by Chinese teacher-turned-entrepreneur Ma as a platform to connect Chinese manufacturers with the world, It stands among one of the largest companies in the world.

Ma, who turned 54 on Monday, said while continuing as a member of Alibaba Partnership, he wants to return to education.

“I want to return to education, which excites me with so much blessing because this is what I love to do. The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things,” the Chinese business icon’s letter added.

The group’s e-tail portals Alibaba.com, Taobao, Tmall and AliExpress together clock billions of dollars of sales each year.

Alibaba
Cloud computing refers to a virtual space where one can grow their presence

As per its statement, the company’s revenue was $39.9 billion for fiscal 2017-18.

Also Read: Researchers In China Discover a Potential Antibiotic

During the company’s annual global shopping festival held on November 11 last year, the firm made a whopping $25 billion worth sales in a 24-hour period across its e-commerce platforms.

Apart from its online shopping portals, The company also offers electronic payment services and cloud computing services. (IANS)