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FICCI rubbishes Amazon claims in DPIIT meet

In a first, FICCI President Uday Shankar said Amazon’s claims at a vital stakeholder-DPIIT meet on Friday were false and need to be rescinded.

Shankar, in a terse distancing from Amazon’s claims, said the apex chamber expects zero tolerance on creative interpretations of FDI norms.

Amazon is under ED investigation for misusing Press Notes 2 and 3 and violating the “market place” covenant governing foreign companies in ecommerce.

The US giant has been accused of circumventing FDI law by investing in downstream Indian companies and then lending them deep discounts, preferential placement.

At the meeting where the Commerce and Industry Ministry had asked one spokesperson from each association to make submissions, an Amazon official represented Ficci but the chamber later said his views represented only one section of its e-commerce members.

In this regard, Ficci on Friday shot off a letter to the government saying the spokesperson who represented it in the meeting called by the Centre to frame the e-commerce policy did not correctly represent the industry view and the chamber was for “policy stability, transparency and continuity in the e-commerce policy”.

In the letter to Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra, the Ficci President said: “I would like to clarify that the views expressed today are held by one group of our e-commerce members but there are other views that are equally widely held and as such, it’s not possible for us to identify either a ‘Ficci view’ or a ‘majority’ view. We would appreciate if you took note of this”.

The chamber said any policy must be strictly implemented in letter and spirit and the law of the land has to be strictly abided by any company, be it foreign or Indian, big or small.

“However, if the government or authorities feel that any company irrespective of their ownership are found violating the law, the government may speak with them directly and take appropriate action.

“Ficci supports effective implementation of FDI policy. Necessary clarification in terms of policy could be issued so as to enhance transparency,” Shankar said in the letter.

DPIIT had requested a one-chamber-one-spokesman rule and FICCI therefore fielded Amazon India CFO Raghav Rao at the crucial meeting.

Rao is one of the three co-chairs of the FICCI committee. The Financial Express

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