Minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation Suresh Prabhu believes that the upcoming ecommerce policy and FDI policy are in line with securing the interests of the small retailers in the country.
While sharing his thoughts in a recent interview, the minister said that the government will not be going to interfere with the business dealings or business models of the others.
“Without harming the interest of private small retailers in India, if we can get foreign direct investment and they can also do the business in a transparent way which is good for them, good for the economy, even good for the retailer, that can be a business model,” he said.
The country is currently ablaze with the debate on the issues such as FDI in ecommerce and the framing of ecommerce policy. Lately, the Minister has been quite vocal upon the issues such as angel tax and FDI-related issues. He has been a firm believer that tech startups are the future of India.
After the draft ecommerce policy was made public in August this year, the department of commerce had started consultations on the policy, but that had run into interministerial differences as many departments and ministries saw the consultations exceeding the commerce department’s brief.
In September this year, the government had set up a group of secretaries to look into the issues related to draft ecommerce policy chaired by the secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Later, the government transferred the ecommerce policy to DIPP in October.
The Draft Ecommerce Policy is expected to be rolled out in the next few weeks as per recent reports.
The new proposed FDI in ecommerce guidelines has caused an industry-wide uproar due to a clause which may prevent ecommerce players from having exclusive sellers.
“Ecommerce marketplace entity will not mandate any seller to sell any product exclusively on its platform only,” the latest circular said.
The new proposal has been discussed heavily and various stakeholders have been raising their concerns, while others have been supporting the changes.
With the sector poised to reach $200 Bn by 2026, the government’s policy on the matter will also be essential for handling the market competition among players like Amazon, Paytm Mall, etc.
The ecommerce policy draft aims to ensure a level playing field for local businesses in digital trade in India, where deep-pocketed foreign companies are investing and contesting aggressively.