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Govt has no plans to bring FDI in ecommerce retail


Govt has no plans to bring FDI in ecommerce retail

By Sujata Sachdeva

24 Jul 2015

The NDA government has informed the Parliament that it has no plans to bring in foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce. “No such proposal is under the consideration of the government,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

"The term 'e-commerce retail' has not been defined in the extant FDI policy, however, as per the extant FDI policy, e-commerce activities refer to the activity of buying and selling by a company through the e-commerce platform," she added.

Ealier this month, Sitharaman met industry and states representatives to seek their views on opening up the e-commerce sector to FDI. States were asked to submit their opinion on the matter within 15 days. “The government of India invited states to discuss the issue of FDI in e-commerce in B2B and B2C and also bringing in the FDI in multi-brand retail,” Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu told media after the meeting.

"But one consensus between the states and the Centre was that whatever decision is taken, it must be taken after good deliberation and after engagement with stakeholders at the state level and after assuring ourselves that the interests of the consumers, small retailers as well as SMEs are protected," he added.

At present, 100 percent FDI is allowed in the business-to-business e-commerce space, which allows global retailers to operate cash-and-carry business in India. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Retailers Association of India (RAI) have expressed strong opposition to the government’s move to approach stakeholders for their views on FDI policy in e-commerce segment.