Saturday 28 December 2019

Traders on hunger-strike against discounts, offers on e-platform

Traders on hunger-strike against discounts, offers on e-platformNew Delhi, Intensifying the protest against deep discounts and disruptive offers by e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart, traders on Friday staged a day long hunger strike in several parts of the country under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

During the protests in about 500 cities across the country, traders also demanded government action against the e-commerce companies working in transport, logistics, travel, home buying, consumer durables and other segments, a statement from CAIT said.

"We want Indian e-commerce market free from all glitches, unhealthy and unfair business practices, and till government take any action our national agitation will continue" said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT.

Addressing the protesting traders at Jantar Mantar in the national capital both CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that Amazon and Flipkart are now trying to build a narrative of being trader-friendly and are luring small traders to join their platforms, the statement said.

The traders' body said that the online platforms are indulging in preferential seller system and more than 80 per cent of their sales are made by just their 10-15 preferred sellers.

CAIT also criticised the government's move to partner with Amazon and Flipkart in the MSME segment.

"Both Bhartia and Khandelwal said that it is very unfortunate that MSME ministry announced earlier to partner with these companies who are flouting FDI policy of the government," it said.

Earlier in the month, protesting the decision, CAIT had called upon Union MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari to reject any such proposed move and said that it would not accept any kind of "collusion" of the government with Amazon and Flipkart.

CAIT said that it is a "deep rooted" conspiracy of Amazon and Flipkart to enter into crony capitalism under the garb of bringing foreign investment which is being used for cash burning in maintaining predatory pricing and deep discounting, controlling inventory, having preferential seller system and exclusivity of products which is against the mandate of the FDI policy.

It had previously urged Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to conduct an investigation into the "violation" of FDI norms and also whether there is any violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

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