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Government forms new committee to examine FDI-related issues in e-commerce industry, says Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal, minister for commerce and industry, July 12, said that the government of India has established a new committee to look into the issue related to FDI (Foreign direct investment) in e-commerce industry, reported Inc42, citing Economic Times.

Goyal announced the formation of the committee while replying to a question posed in the Lok Sabha on July 24.

“A committee has been constituted on July 12 under Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with members from the Department of Commerce, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Commerce, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs and Ministry of MSME to examine issues related to FDI in ecommerce and give its suggestions,” Goyal said.

The freshly made FDI policy came into effect from 1 February, 2019. The policy states that a vendor will be considered “controlled” by an online marketplace operator if it sources more than 25 per cent of its merchandise from an entity related to the e-commerce marketplace.

The development eyes to target deep discounts being offered by e-commerce marketplaces having heavy war chest like Amazon, Flipkart (owned by Walmart) to level the playing field with the local retailers.

In a report to the US government, Walmart stated that India’s new FDI in ecommerce policy is regressive and creates an unfair playing field between foreign and domestic enterprises.

It also recommended that India extend the deadline for the implementation of its new ecommerce guidelines by a six-month period. However, the company also claims to be committed to complying with this and all other Indian laws and regulations.

The government is in continuous discussions with the industry stakeholders to put the right foot forward.

While, last month, Goyal had met with the representatives of Indian ecommerce companies to carry out in-depth discussion on ways to boost the India ecommerce market, which would benefit small Indian retailers and ecommerce consumers.

The meeting attendees included Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Swiggy, Zomato, UrbanClap, Udaan, MakeMyTrip, and Yatra.

A draft national ecommerce policy covering various areas of ecommerce has been prepared and placed for comments in the public domain.

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