RAI opposes government’s FDI talks with e-commerce players

Retail

RAI opposes government’s FDI talks with e-commerce players

by Sujata Sachdeva
19 May 2015
The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has expressed strong opposition to the government’s move to approach stakeholders of the ecommerce market to seek their views on FDI policy in e-commerce segment. The association feels that the retail industry must be classified on the basis of category of goods and services provided and not on the basis of brick and mortar stores or e-commerce.

Retailers have decided to not participate in the stakeholders’ consultation meeting on FDI policy on e-commerce sector called by DIPP. RAI had also earlier requested the government to create a simple FDI policy for retail without segregating retail by brands and channels.

While the government is in discussions with domestic and ecommerce platforms regarding FDI in online multi-brand retail, it has said that the rules remain unchanged for now. After meeting the stakeholders and hearing their point of views, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is yet to take a stand on allowing FDI in e-retail. While domestic biggies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal opposed foreign investment in B2C a meeting by commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, foreign entrants - Amazon and eBay spoke strongly in favour of it.

Around 60 players from the industry, including representatives of Amazon India, Snapdeal, Ikea, Japan Plus, eBay and Flipkart attended the meeting. While Amazon and Walmart have been lobbying to get access to the inventory-based model in India—where they can sell own products directly to consumers, at present, 100 percent FDI is allowed only in marketplace models.