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Traders Body Wants Government to Seek a Ban on Amazon, Flipkart’s Festival Sales

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added

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A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Just a couple of days after Flipkart announced the dates of its “The Big Billion Days” sale, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has written to the government seeking a “blanket ban” on festive season sales conducted by the e-commerce giant as well as its rival Amazon and other such platforms.

While Flipkart announced that its annual six-day sale ahead of Diwali and Dussehra would take place starting September 29, Amazon is yet to announce the dates for its annual bumper sale.

During these periods, the e-commerce platforms offer heavy discounts to lure customers as Indians tend to make major purchases during the festive season.

“By offering deep discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 80 per cent on their e-commerce portals, these companies are clearly influencing the prices and create an uneven level playing field which is in direct contravention of the policy,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

CAIT said that the practice of deep discounts offered by various e-commerce platforms during the festive season goes against the foreign direct investment rules.

The traders body argued that that as these e-commerce platforms are “openly flouting FDI norms, a blanket ban on such festival sales should be ordered and an investigation should be conducted as to how these companies are flouting FDI norms and accordingly action should be taken against them.”

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FILE – A worker removes an advertisement billboard of Indian online marketplace Flipkart, installed along the roadside in Mumbai, India, Oct. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is concentrating on India and its competition, Flipkart. VOA

“…much contrary to the FDI policy, the e-commerce portals are deeply engaged in B2C business and the quantum of B2B business is almost negligible,” CAIT, which represents 500,000 merchants and traders in India, said in its letter on Friday.

“As per FDI policy, e-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services and shall maintain level playing field.”

Flipkart, in its announcement of annual sales dates said that “affordability is one of the key pillars for the Big Billion Days, with a focus on empowering consumers to fulfil all their shopping aspirations without compromising on their budgets.”

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“This year, over 50 million Indians will have access to some form of credit, through Flipkart’s various loan options, including Cardless Credit, Flipkart PayLater and No-Cost EMIs on leading bank debit and credit cards,” Flipkart said.

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added. (IANS)

Next Story

Amazon To Empower SMBs in India By Exporting Products Worth $10bn

According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, SMBs in India account for 45 per cent of industrial output, creating employment for 60 million Indians and roughly 1.3 million jobs annually

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Amazon
Amazon wants to make sure that the current perception of the company among the small businesses go away, else this will further call for strict scrutiny from the regulators and protests from small traders. VOA

$1 billion commitment by Amazon to empower small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India is Jeff Bezos’ attempt to change the e-commerce giant’s perception among small businesses which are in a retaliatory mode, industry experts said on Wednesday.

Bezos announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025. This move is seen as a measure to calm the growing unrest and protests going on under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

“Amazon wants to make sure that the current perception of the company among the small businesses go away, else this will further call for strict scrutiny from the regulators and protests from small traders,” Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst with Forrester, told IANS.

Over the next five years, Amazon will invest $1 billion to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before, announced Bezos.

According to Meena, this is in line with what Amazon is planning to do in India for the next few years.

“They need partnerships with SMBs for products to cater not only to the Indian customers, but also to customers outside the country,” he said. Amazon said it would establish ‘Digital Haats’ in 100 cities and villages to help businesses integrate into the digital economy.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, SMBs in India account for 45 per cent of industrial output, creating employment for 60 million Indians and roughly 1.3 million jobs annually. “The SMBs, however, are constrained by multiple challenges, including access to skills, talent, finance, and most importantly, digital outreach,” Ram told IANS.

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$1 billion commitment by Amazon to empower small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India is Jeff Bezos’ attempt to change the e-commerce giant’s perception among small businesses which are in a retaliatory mode, industry experts said on Wednesday. Pixabay

“This is where SMB-centric initiatives, such as Amazon’s commitment, are a welcome initiative to digitally support SMBs, enabling them to gain knowledge, reach their target audience, achieve scale, and while doing so, be able to measure their growth metrics,” Ram said.

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In the end, added Meena, SMBs in India also need handholding in product development, capital investment and access to market. (IANS)