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Benefits can't be at cost of others: Piyush Goyal on ecommerce companies

Asking the e-commerce players to strictly adhere to the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, he said it “certainly does not look and feel and smell right” when a company makes a loss of Rs 6,000 crore on a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2020, 07.05 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said while the government welcomes ecommerce firms to work within the framework and laws of the land, promises of a certain number of people benefiting from such companies can’t be at the expense of suffering of many others.

Asking the e-commerce players to strictly adhere to the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, he said it “certainly does not look and feel and smell right” when a company makes a loss of Rs 6,000 crore on a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore.

Speaking at the TIMES NOW Summit on Thursday, Goyal said neither the Competition Commission of India (CCI) nor his ministry would have to probe on fair trade practices if e-commerce players “can stick within the letter and spirit of the law”. He said that India would welcome e-commerce companies to work within the framework and the laws of the land.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who was in India last month, had announced $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) investment to help bring small and medium businesses online and committed to exporting $10 billion worth of India-made goods by 2025.

Goyal had subsequently remarked that e-commerce giant Amazon was not doing any favour to India by announcing $1 billion investment as they are financing their losses.

Replying to a question about his statement on Amazon and whether the company is breaking domestic laws of the sector, he said: “Promises of a certain number of people benefitting from e-commerce are very attractive, but it cannot be at the cost of a 10X number of people suffering the consequences of practices which are not allowed and certainly a trillion dollar company, competing with small retailers whose total capital may be a lakh of two lakhs of rupees is a very, very unfair competition.”

Goyal stated that it is the government’s duty to protect the interests of every small stakeholder in the sector.

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