Amazon not doing a favour by investing additional $1 billion in India, says Goyal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2020 Published on January 16, 2020

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal   -  Atul Yadav

Stresses that allegations against e-commerce giants were a concern for every Indian

Indicating the government’s growing impatience with the tussle between e-commerce giants and domestic traders and shop-owners over malpractices such as deep discounting and predatory pricing, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that Amazon was not doing a great favour to the country by investing $1 billion.

“They may have put in a billion dollars but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars….So it’s not as if they are doing a great favour to India when they invest a billion dollars,” Goyal said on Thursday at the Raisina Dialogue organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and ORF.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, on Wednesday, pledged $1 billion in new investments to help take small Indian businesses online, in what can be interpreted as an attempt to remove the growing perception that the company is against the interests of small players.

Indian brick and mortar retailers and traders, including the influential Confederation of All India Traders, have been accusing e-commerce biggies such as Amazon and Flipkart of breaching foreign direct investment rules and engaging in deep discounting, predatory pricing, inventory control and a biased seller system.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently launched a probe into Amazon and Flipkart to look into allegations and whether the companies discriminate against small sellers. The Minister said that the allegations were an area of concern for every Indian.

“Our government has allowed e-commerce entities to come to India under the marketplace model. As long as everyone follows the rules, we welcome e-commerce in India and they are happy to trade and serve the people of India,” Goyal added.

India’s e-commerce market is expected to grow from an estimated $39 billion in 2017 to $150 billion in 2022, according to a joint report by industry body Nasscom and consultants PWC.

Published on January 16, 2020
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