"Some representations have been received in this department, complaining that e-commerce companies are offering deep discounts, indulging in predatory pricing, engaging in B2C business, exercising control over inventory and influencing the prices of goods sold on the platform," Piyush Goyal told Rajya Sabha.
During the nationwide agitation, traders will observe November 20 as 'National Protest Day' and hold 'dharna' in more than 700 cities in different states, said the body, which claims to represent 7 crore traders.
The average order value for Flipkart stood at Rs 1,976 versus Rs 1,461 on Amazon, indicating that customers bought higher-value items from the Walmart-owned marketplace. Flipkart led with 64% share of the combined gross sales while Amazon continued to fare higher in net promoter score (NPS). NPS measures the loyalty of customers to a company.
"Under the circumstances and visualising it as a price war, we suggest it is the high time when the government must step in and enforce the fundamental of Minimum Operating Price which is the price consisting of landing price, operational cost and reasonable profit margin and below the MOP no product should be sold in the market," CAIT said in the letter.
Nike is more than tripling some of its store sizes to 3,000-5,000 square feet, as is Levi’s, which is expanding to 3,000 sq. ft. Market leader Zara is asking malls to double its space to 25,000-30,000 sq. ft. Benetton has identified 20 top locations in the metros to expand its outlets.
Traders' body CAIT has welcomed the draft rules and said the proposed framework will "force" e-commerce companies to be more transparent and accountable towards customers. As per the draft, an e-commerce entity should not "directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services" and "maintain a level-playing field".
"I would like to highlight the adverse impact of predatory pricing indulged by some e-commerce players which adversely impact millions of small retailers. It is important for e-commerce to follow the letter and spirit of the law," Goyal said at the BRICS trade ministers meeting. He further added that the need of the hour is to develop digital infrastructure.
Refuting reports that Patanjali Ayurved was finding it tough to raise fresh loans of Rs 4,000 crore following a downgrade by a ratings agency, Patanjali Ayurved chief executive Acharya Balkrishna said the downgrade by CARE was based on factors which had no relation to corporate guarantee not being offered by Patanjali.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the alleged distortions, both in the e-commerce and brick & mortar format of retail.
The German wholesale retailer has thrown its might behind mom-and-pop groceries and has demanded level-playing for the unorganised sector, wading into a debate in India that ecommerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart are hurting small businesses here.