The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has summoned online food aggregators, including Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and UberEATS, for a meeting today, according to an Economic Times report which cited an anonymous official. According to the source, the meeting has been called to find solutions to issues faced by restaurants. The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) independently confirmed the development and told MediaNama that it is participating in the meeting today. MediaNama has reached out to DPIIT, Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and UberEATS for comment. The ET source also explained that the restaurants have been facing problems similar to those faced by brick-and-mortar retailers in their tussle with e-commerce platforms. They centre around predatory pricing and deep discounting. This development comes six months after over 500 small restaurants had sent an online petition to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) alleging that the food delivery companies were misusing their “dominant position”. They had complained against the use of deep discounting, in-house kitchens and internal sourcing by foodtech companies which affected the small businesses. Aim of the meeting The department reportedly wants both the online companies and restaurants to discuss common areas of interest and come up with solutions during the meeting. Thus, representatives from various restaurant associations, including the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and NRAI have also been asked to attend the meeting. Citing industry sources, the report also said that apart from discounts, the meeting will also…
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