The ministry of commerce and industry has been grappling with many contentious issues including cross-border data flow, data localisation and deep discounting by online marketplaces in its ecommerce policy.
India’s ecommerce industry, estimated at around $39 Bn in 2017, is expected to grow to $200 Bn by 2026, according to research platform. However, setting a roadmap to reap the benefits of the digital economy, along with safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders has been quite challenging, says the report.
One of the main challenges faced by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) is the deep discounting offered by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart. The clash between CAIT and the online marketplaces has gained global attention. In December 2018, trade body US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) had said that the new ecommerce rules being discussed by DIPP are regressive and that they could potentially harm the consumers.
The traders association has, however, been raising a red flag saying that ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart do not comply with FDI norms and offer deep discounts that put local vendors out of business. On Wednesday, Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal, along with local retailers and distributors, locked down the Flipkart’s Kanpur warehouse in Kanpur. The protestors, backed by Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal that works towards traders rights, said that online marketplaces are indulging in unfair means to shrink the business of brick and mortar stores.
The tiff between traders’ body and online marketplaces have been going on for more than a year now with festival discounting again bringing the matter to the limelight. Here is a chronological review of the developments that have been taking place.