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India's DIPP rules out FDI plan in inventory-based e-com

Sep '18
India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) secretary Ramesh Abhishek recently said foreign direct investment (FDI) in inventory-based e-commerce is not happening, allaying concerns raised by those opposed to such a move. He was speaking at a roundtable organised by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on the draft e-commerce policy issued in July end.

The department, however, agrees to the need for a regulator to oversee the sector, a top Indian business daily quoted Abhishek as saying.

SJM is an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya janata Party (BJP), and champions economic self-reliance.

The department of commerce had in its recent draft e-commerce policy suggested up to 49 per cent FDI in inventory-based e-commerce for 100 per cent locally-made goods for majority Indian-owned and Indian-controlled ecommerce ventures.

India doesn’t allow overseas investment in ecommerce companies that sell directly to customers, only in marketplaces that connect sellers with buyers. It doesn’t allow overseas investment in multi-brand retail either.

After various ministries questioned the role of the commerce department in framing some provisions of the policy, particularly the one allowing FDI in inventory-based e-commerce, the Prime Minister’s Office had convened a discussion on the issue and a revised version of the policy is likely to drop the FDI clause, the newspaper reported.

The government will soon decide the nodal department for the e-commerce sector, Abhishek said.

Some departments have questioned the jurisdiction of the department of commerce, pointing out that draft policy is outside its domain. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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