CAIT threatens to go legal against e-commerce portals

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Oct 2017 09:46:17


Business Bureau,


The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday expressed its deep anguish and resentment over the lethargic attitude of the Government for not taking any action against e-commerce portals which are openly flouting FDI policy of Government in spite of making written complaints. CAIT in a communication sent Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of Department of Industrial Promotion and Planning, Ministry of Commerce has said in plain words that if no action is taken by the Government, the trade body may opt for approaching court for seeking justice.

It is noteworthy to mention that CAIT on September 23, 2017 had sent a communication to Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry regarding gross violation of FDI policy by e-commerce portals and the said communication was referred to Secretary, DIPP for appropriate action same day.

B C Bhartia, National President of CAIT said, “It is much regretted that almost a week has gone but so far no action has been taken against such e-commerce portals as a result of which some of them are again going to violate the FDI policy. It is evident from the fact that similar big advertisements are visible for different kind of festival sales on the occasion of Diwali for the purpose of attracting public in general which is utter violation of the FDI policy as these e- commerce portals are certainly not allowed to conduct business to consumer (B2C) activities rather they are restricted to conduct only business to business (B2B) activities.”

He wondered why Government is not taking any action against these e- commerce players who are violating Government’s policy openly and dearly without any fear of law or rules and regulations. “Such conduct on this issue also raises few questions like what is preventing the Government in taking any action against these portals. Is there any hidden pressure for not taking any action.” he said. “In spite of making written complaints since last three years, no action has been taken which is encouraging these e-commerce portals to violate the policy and proving it as a joke of the Government. Whether law is different or its interpretation is different for different people,” said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT.

He said that such attitude of the Government for not taking any action is directly and adversely affecting the business of brick and mortar shops due to uneven level playing field. He said, if the complaint is wrong and not in accordance with the policy laid down by the Government, CAIT should be informed and if the complaint is genuine, then action should be taken immediately.

CAIT has demanded to take immediate action against policy defaulter e-commerce companies and impose ban on working of their portal and conduct an impartial inquiry into the issues raised by CAIT and should be given an opportunity of hearing. If no action is taken by the Government immediately, CAIT would be compelled to take shelter of the court for seeking justice entirely on risk and cost of the Government, CAIT cautioned.