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CAIT criticises USISPF stand on India's new e-com rules

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 Terming the new e-commerce rules in India ‘regressive’, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) recently said the changes would harm consumers, create unpredictability and negatively affect the growth of online retail. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), however, strongly criticised the USISPF for making ‘uncalled for’ statements on the issue.


Asserting that it is not the government's business to micromanage businesses, USISPF alleged the amendments announced came out without any consultation and are akin to changing rules in the middle of the game.


The Indian Government recently seemed succumbing to demands by domestic traders while putting in place new norms that would end discounts and cashback offers by online platforms with foreign investment. The new rules will be effective from February.


"This amendment bars Indian manufacturers and sellers from effectively competing in the global online marketplace," USISPF president and chief executive officer Mukesh Aghi said in a statement. He alleged lack of transparency in policymaking.


USISPF is consulting its members on the course of action and plans to meet government officials soon on the matter, according to Indian media reports.


Strongly condemning the USISPF stand, CAIT national president B C Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal termed it as interference of an outside agency in internal policy matters of the Indian Government.


CAIT alleged big global companies like Walmart and Amazon are firing from the shoulders of organisations like USISPF to pressurise the Indian Government to incorporate further changes to their advantage.


The new rules bar online platforms from selling products supplied by affiliated companies, and from offering customers special discounts. Those also clamp down on exclusive deals.


However, smaller players such as ShopClues and Snapdeal have welcomed the move, saying the development will ‘close the back door’ that has been ‘blatantly exploited’ by larger companies and provide a level-playing field for all. (DS)

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