Traders body concerns over FK-Walmart deal are ED and RBI affairs, not ours: Suresh Prabhu


Following the hue and cry against Walmart-Flipkart deal from traders and other outfits including Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), finally, the commerce ministry Suresh Prabhu has made a maiden statement on the issue.

The commerce minister has said that all the complaint against violation of FDI norms has been forwarded to responsible agencies such as Enforcement Directorate and RBI.

According to Prabhu, no any other department including his own should make a judgment on this and ED and RBI are the right agencies to look into the concerns.

The development comes after a month when RSS-affiliated lobby group SJM claimed that the commerce minister should examine the case.

Meanwhile, DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said that the case comes under the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and Reserve Bank of India with Department of Economic Affairs.

The case related to any infringement of the law or allegation will be investigated by the ED.

As per Abhishek, under the e-commerce FDI policy, only the marketplace model is allowed. Walmart-Flipkart deal was made under this provision. Walmart business-to-business and cash and carry are separate entities.

While the report on the ongoing case is yet to come, the statements from DIPP and commerce ministry also hint that it would take substantial time to get materialised.

Contrary to this, it is a good sign for the traders body (CAIT), sellers association (AIOVA) as well as lobby group who have been raising concerns over Walmart-Flipkart deal. They alleged it would create a monopoly in one of the highest growing e-commerce economies in the world.

SJM-led by Ashwani Mahajan also blamed that the deal is against the interest of small traders and even the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ mission. He also blamed the government for showing its inefficiency in the matter.

Last month, AIOVA and traders body CAIT have filed a petition in Competition Commission of India (CCI) to oppose the deal.

The development was reported by ET.

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