Snapdeal bats for new FDI policy in e-commerce from Feb 1

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Bengaluru (IANS) Leading e-tailer Snapdeal on Tuesday supported the implementation of revised Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on e-commerce from February 1.

"Snapdeal supports the immediate implementation of the current FDI policy on e-commerce so that marketplaces are not misused to run inventory operations," Delhi-based Snapdeal told IANS in a statement here.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on December 26 issued revised policy guidelines on FDI in e-commerce.

The policy revision, which will be in force from February 1, dictates that e-commerce platforms providing a marketplace will not exercise control or ownership over the inventory.

E-tail majors Flipkart and American online retailer Amazon's Indian arm, however, sought an extension on the implementation of the new norms, amid protesting voices from retail traders' bodies against granting the extension.

"Government policy changes will have long-term implications in the evolution of the promising sector and the whole ecosystem," American retail giant Walmart-owned Flipkart told IANS through a statement earlier.

The new norms also barred e-tail firms from allowing any company to sell its products exclusively on their e-commerce platforms alone.

While Amazon India had said in a statement to IANS that "it has always operated in compliance with the laws of the land", it did not respond to queries on the changes it may have to make to its business model to suit the new norms.

On the other hand, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asserted that delaying the execution of the policy will allow the e-tailers to continue with their "dominance over retail trade".

"The modus operandi of these e-commerce companies for seeking extension (on the implementation of new FDI norms) is to keep delaying fair execution of the policy," CAIT wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry this month.

"They (e-commerce platforms) may continue with their sinister designs of operating all kinds of malpractice including predatory pricing, deep discounting and exclusivity, in order to ensure their control and dominance over retail trade and wipe out the competition," the letter said.

The Ministry, however, has not indicated any possible extension of the deadline to implement the new norms.

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