The recent move of the government to tighten the noose of major e-commerce players will culminate into a fair market competition and will provide equal even level playing field for one and all to adopt e-commerce as another business model, said Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Praveen Khandelwal.
Addressing a press conference held at New Delhi on Thursday, Khandelwal said: "Both online and offline traders in the country will now be able to sell their goods on e-commerce platforms in a transparent manner."
While welcoming the step taken by the government to plug the loopholes in FDI conditions in e-commerce, Khandelwal said that government should immediately form an empowered regulatory authority to monitor and regulate the e-commerce business in the country.
A regulator with proper enforcement powers would ensure that the said policy is strictly implemented. Further, declaration of a comprehensive e-commerce policy is also needed to check the working and modalities of e-commerce companies, he added.
Stressing that it was after the immense pressure that government agreed to frame new policy, Khandelwal stated, "It is after immense pressure that government has decided to frame new rules. However, the rules in the policy should also deal with past actions and therefore, the policy should be implemented with retrospective effect from April 1, 2018."
"We have seen in the past that exclusivity, preferential treatment, predatory pricing, deep discounting and loss funding was the major policy of e-commerce players with their sole aim to control and dominate the entire landscape of Indian retail trade which was proving much detrimental to both local online and offline traders," he added.
Elaborating about the policy CAIT general secretary asserted that the hallmark of the policy is non-discrimination and ensure the eradication of entire web of preferential sellers on e-commerce portals.
The revised policy will wipe out confusions which were used by e-commerce players as a tool to their advantage and they were treating Indian retail trade as an open ground and playing the game by setting their own rules and were least bothered about earlier Press Note No.3 of FDI Policy of 2016.
Despite many representations and complains, no action was taken against them. However, now they will not be able to escape from the clutches of policy and the government has rightly tightened their nose, he added.
Further, the association pointed out that the policy should be applicable not only to foreign Companies but to any e-commerce marketplace.
"We believe that a marketplace has to remain completely neutral," said Khandelwal.