Foreign firms in the e-commerce sector should not use the platform for indulging in predatory pricing and getting into deep discounting to force small retailers out of business, Indian commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal recently told the India Economic Forum in New Delhi. They should not use large capital to source cheap and offer discounts, he said.
Goyal said he held a series of meetings with both Indian and foreign players, including from the United States, in the e-commerce sector to understand their issues.
He said that there has been absolutely no change in India's stance as far as e-commerce is concerned and in fact, India provides a very stable and predictable regulatory framework.
"India is very clear, considering our domestic political compulsions and having about 120-130 million people dependent on small retail which is about 50-60 million small retail shops through the length and breadth of the country providing employment, which means effectively addressing the lives of nearly half the population of the country. This small retail is a very sensitive subject," a news agency quoted the minister as saying.
US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross told the forum his country understands the political sensitivity of small retailers, farmers and other groups. Until alternative work opportunities come up for small retailers it will have to be a balanced and calibrated movement towards engaging more with technology, allowing e-commerce to do some of the things they can possibly do in the western developed world, he said.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)