Economy

Amazon, Flipkart seek status quo in e-comm policy; RIL for tighter norms

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on March 25, 2021

Flipkart and Amazon on Thursday opposed the proposed changes in the FDI in e-commerce policy at a meeting with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). As many as 15 e-commerce players participated in the discussion as part of the ongoing consultations on the need to tweak the existing FDI policy for e-commerce players.

According to sources, the participants were divided with Amazon, Flipkart and a few others seeking a status quo while Reliance seeking tighter norms.

The meeting was attended by Tatacliq, furniture player Pepperfry, ride sharing companies such as Ola and Uber along with Swiggy, Shopclues, Urban Company, MakeMyTrip, Udaan, InfoEdge along with Reliance Jio, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

Check violation

One group of players said that a tweak was imperative because of constant violations by certain players. “There is a need for a stricter policy, and a tougher regime in order to avoid discrepancies and defaults” said an executive in favour of a new policy. “The DPIIT must issue a fresh press note,” he added.

Greater compliance

On the other hand, those seeking a status quo argued said that since there was a mandatory annual audit certification (by statutory bodies for FDI compliance) that companies have to submit, there was greater compliance by companies that have FDI. Also, “there are specific enforcement agencies who have the mandate to, and are currently looking into appropriate enforcement of the FDI regime,” one of the players said. As many as seven players opposed any changes to the existing rules.

“Multiple policy changes can have an impact on investors, start-ups and the lakhs of jobs that these players create,” said an executive of an MNC company.

Some of the players even said the changes could have a severe bearing on the start-up and the MSME ecosystem of India.

Flipkart and Amazon pointed out the policy changes should not be made because of negative sentiments of a few players.

The DPIIT has now directed the players for written submissions within a week’s time.

Published on March 25, 2021

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