Revised e-commerce policy, which is slated to be enforced from February 1, has been a matter of grave concern for Amazon, Walmart as well as millions of local sellers. While the US-based giants have been lobbying to extend the deadline, Indian merchants want it to get rolled on the due date.
Amazon and Walmart have been convincing the US government to make new e-commerce policy an issue concerning bilateral trade between both countries. The US government had already expressed its concern that the revised policy doesn’t favour investment made or planned by the formidable duo.
Amidst the speculation that Indian government is likely to extend the deadline, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to not offer extension because of pressure from US government regarding new e-commerce policy.
The letter accesses and reviewed by Reuters mentions that if regulations aren’t enforced on the due date then it will hurt the interest of 130 million small Indian entrepreneurs.
The revised policy limits e-commerce marketplaces from allowing a single merchant to sell more than 25 per cent of the platform’s total sales. Also, any entity from the platform’s group companies can not invest in its vendors as it changes the company’s model from the marketplace to inventory based.
Further, it also forbids the group company striking exclusive partnership with brands.
While Amazon clarified that it would comply with the new policy but requires more time, Walmart is disappointed more than surprised with the regulation.
The duo has been persuading United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Indian embassy in the US for relaxation from unfavourable regulations.
The revised guidelines have been welcomed by local sellers who were complaining about e-commerce companies violating policy norms and ruining the essence of a marketplace. Many experts believe that new guidelines favour Reliance’s mega entry into e-commerce space.
The request by Walmart and Amazon to extend the deadline of the new policy – coming into effect in next one week from now – is likely to be unmet as India is set for the general election in the next few months. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is popular among the trading community and is unlikely to hurt their interest.
Considering US government’s pressure exertion on India to extend the deadline and RSS’s suggestion to turn down the demand, it would be exciting to see how Modi and his government take the next step as far as enforcement of the revised policy is concerned.