Traders body CAIT today said that permitting FDI in e-commerce retailing would be detrimental to the interests of more than six crore small shop-owners across the country.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has "strongly condemned" the DIPP Secretary's meeting with stakeholders on the issue of FDI in e-commerce retail.
On May 15, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Amitabh Kant had called a meeting of stakeholders, including industry chambers and foreign companies, to discuss the issue.
Kant recently suggested that India should open up the e-commerce retail trade to foreign players completely.
"FDI in retail in e-commerce is going to prove to be quite detrimental to the interests of more than six crore brick and mortar shops across the country," CAIT said in a statement.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that the secretary should have called the meeting after the new government had taken charge.
"Certainly, it was a prerogative of the new government and not the wishes of the DIPP Secretary to hold such a meeting on the last day of the outgoing government. It smacks of some kinds of fishy things going on behind the curtain," it added.
CAIT said that the association will present their case before the new government at an appropriate time.
As per the current FDI policy, e-commerce companies cannot offer their services directly to retail consumers due to which leading e-retailers like Amazon and eBay have set up a marketplace model in the country.
However, 100 per cent FDI is allowed in business-to- business (B2B) e-commerce.
The government allowed 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail in September, 2012, with certain conditions like 30 per cent mandatory sourcing requirement from small industries.