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Retailers Seeks Clarity on FDI in Ecommerce

Update On :11 July 2015

Retailers Seeks Clarity on FDI in Ecommerce

Retailers met senior government officials on Friday demanding ease of doing business and clarity on taxation issues even as the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) sought clear definitions of retailing, and electronic and B2B commerce from them.

The meeting was called by DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant to discuss issues in the retail sector, where the government allows 100 per cent FDI in wholesale (both online and offline) and only 49 per cent in multi-brand retail. However, there is no clarity on FDI in e-retail sector dominated by online marketplaces like Flipkart, Snapdeal among others. The meeting saw participation of representatives from retailers association of India (RAI), Ebay, H&M, Ikea, Flipkart, Amazon and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

Post meeting, Viresh Oberoi, chairman, CII ecommerce committee said, the centre and states will have to sit together and ensure ease of doing business for e-commerce companies by resolving all outstanding taxation issues. One of the issues flagged was the problems created due to the requirement of way bill (road permits) in certain states for the goods entering and exiting its territory.

Kumar Rajagopal, CEO, RAI said that the government has to clarify who is a retailer and what constitutes retailing (including in the context of e-commerce). This will help in determining who can access international funds.

Meanwhile, CAIT urged to not allow FDI in e-commerce as it will turn the country into a ‘dumping ground’ as prices (will be) artificially lowered by accessing funds from overseas sources. The CAIT has said that the FDI will create an uneven level playing field.

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