CAIT to protest on Wednesday against Bezos visit

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Amid the much-hyped visit of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to India, traders across 300 cities in the country would stage protests against his arrival under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Wednesday.

In a media briefing here on Tuesday, Praveen Khandelwal, the Secretary General of CAIT, reiterated that around seven crore traders and their families have been “extremely adversely affected due to the predatory and malafide business practices of Amazon and Flipkart”.

Khandelwal also claimed that Amazon and Flipkart have caused huge GST and Income Tax revenue loss to the government and CAIT will soon meet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and urged her to institute a investigation into avoidance of GST and Income Tax liability on both Amazon and Flipkart.

“The visit of Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder tomorrow to India will be greeted with strong protest from traders across Country in about 300 cities. The protest at New Delhi will be held at Jantar Mantar,” the CAIT statement said.

The organisation has been protesting for long against what its calls the ‘deep’ discounting practices of e-commerce majors, among other issues.

On Monday, fair market watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-up with preferred sellers.

Finding merits in the allegations, the Commission has asked its Director General (DG) to complete the investigation in 60 days from the receipt of the order.

Khandelwal said that order of CCI is given under section 26(1) of the Competition Act and since it is not appealable, there is no scope left for Amazon & Flipkart to avoid the investigation.

Commenting upon the statements of both Amazon and Flipkart that they are complying with FDI policy, he said that they should specify how they are able to give huge discounts.

Both the e-commerce majors on Monday reiterated their stand that they have complied with the laws.

“We welcome the opportunity to address allegations made about Amazon. We are confident in our compliance, and will cooperate fully with CCI,” said an Amazon India spokesperson.

A Flipkart spokesperson said: “We are currently reviewing the document. The Flipkart group is fully compliant with all applicable laws and FDI regulations. We take pride in democratising e-commerce in India and giving market access to lakhs of MSMEs, sellers, artisans and small businesses, making quality and affordable goods available to consumers through our transparent and efficient marketplace while creating lakhs of jobs.”


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