Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, who is set to visit Davos to attend the annual conference of World Economic Forum, said that his job is to tell the India story, and it will automatically attract investment, in an interview with Economic Times.
Piyush Goyal is leading the Indian delegation to Davos with the theme ‘Power of India’. In the interview with ET, Goyal said that Indian is set to become third-largest consumer market by 2030 by any measure; and in the present environment, the international companies can do business in India without worrying about scandals, unlike previous times.
In Davos, the Indian delegation will talk about five powers – the power of democracy, power of demography, power of leadership, power of opportunity and the power of talent; and this will automatically help to attract investment.
Goyal also extensively spoke on the issue of e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart involved in business to consumer (B2C) market- where FDI is not allowed, and therefore the foreign companies could get in- through innovative structures. His recent statements about the Amazon investment created much furore in the media, and therefore Goyal made his positions clear in the interview with ET.
“I’m actually helping them so that they don’t fall foul of the law and giving them an opportunity to be heard, guiding them, helping them understand the law of the land, and appealing to everybody to stay within the law,” said Goyal.
On the recent promise of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to generate 1 million jobs, Goyal said, “Many people are talking about jobs, including your paper, but I look at the jobs in the perspective of the jobs lost also. I cannot create 700,000 jobs by breaking the law, breaking every anti-competitive restriction, monopolising certain markets.”
The interest of crores of small traders in India is at the core of Goyal’s bold decision to snub the world’s richest man. Amazon is infamous for offering impossibly high rates of discount, sometimes below the cost price, throwing competing retailers out of business. This has led to allegations of predatory pricing against the e-commerce giant. The small and medium Indian traders have been the biggest casualty.
Amazon is facing a Competition Commission of India (CCI) probe into alleged competition law violations, is its policy of “preferred sellers”, which has also emerged as a murky and suspicious.
Piyush Goyal has displayed traits of a great leader by standing up boldly against all attempts to hamper India’s business interests. The Union Minister deserves a pat on his back for repeatedly acting in protection of India’s interests. He is very confident that the India story will attract investment and is not ready to give leverage to foreign companies to flout the rule of law in the name of big investment.