CAIT to Approach SC, CCI If Government Fails to Check E-Commerce Firms

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CAIT to Approach SC, CCI If Government Fails to Check E-Commerce Firms

Traders body CAIT on Thursday threatened to move the Supreme Court and Competition Commission of India (CCI) if government failed to act on complaints of alleged predatory pricing and unfair trade practices by e-commerce firms like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

Expressing concerns over huge discounts being offered by e-commerce firms, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also met Commerce and Industry Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday urging her to take steps to monitor and regulate online businesses.

"We met the Commerce Minister yesterday and urged her to look into this pricing model that eCommerce firms are using. We also requested her to create a regulator for both online and offline retail trade sector," CAIT National General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal told reporters in New Delhi.

Khandelwal questioned how could a firm "sell a product worth Rs.18,000 at Rs. 6,000 for a few days and then again revert to the Rs. 18,000 price tag".

"Such practice if continued, may result into unavailability of products in offline market, which will further result into a monopolistic situation that will be controlled and dominated by the eCommerce retailers," he added.

When asked which firms these were, Khandelwal said: "It includes all from the big ones to the small ones."

(Also Read: Flipkart Ties up with PC Jeweller to Sell Jewellery Online)

He added that the Commerce Minister has assured the traders body that the government will "seriously" look into the claims made by CAIT.

On the next course of action in case the government did not address the concerns, Khandelwal said: "We just met the Minister yesterday. But we will wait till the end of October and if our concerns are not looked into, we will approach the Supreme Court and the CCI."

He said CAIT also urged the government to institute a probe into business module and trade practices of online retailers.

"CAIT has also said that tax charging procedure of online retailers also needs to be looked into... We have also demanded formation of a committee of experts and stakeholders to assess the impact of online business on offline markets," he added.

He said the Minister expressed concern over the issues raised by CAIT and said that the demands raised by the body will be considered seriously and appropriate steps shall be taken by the government shortly.

"She said that any unfair competition by any sector will not be allowed. She also said that checks and balances are the basic fundamentals for fair working of any sector and needs to be followed in toto. She also assured to give due consideration for formation of a Board of Internal Trade for domestic trade of the country," he added.

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Further reading: Amazon, CAIT, E COmmerce, Flipkart, India, Internet
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