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No proposal to change FDI policy in e-commerce, says Commerce & Industry Ministry

The government currently has no proposals to bring in changes in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules for the e-commerce industry, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Som Parkash informed Parliament. This was in response to a question from Dushyant Singh, Member of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Singh had asked whether the government is contemplating change in FDI policy, whether e-commerce marketplaces can hold indirect stakes through their parent companies, whether FDI amounts would be affected, and whether any domestic retailers had complained to the government about the existing policy. In his response, Parkash said that the government has received representations from traders' bodies and associations, which have alleged that certain marketplaces have created complex ownership structures to circumvent FDI provisions and are engaging in inventory-based ecommerce models through controlled vendors or preferred sellers. Further, there have been allegations of deep discounting, predatory pricing, exclusive arrangements, the Minister said. In a separate question, A. Ganeshamurthi, an MP from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, asked whether the All India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AICCI), an industry body, had demanded that some large e-commerce companies should be banned from operating in India due to excessive discounts, low pricing, and restrictions on goods. To this, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal simply said that AICCI has not made any such representation. Further, the government has received complaints against certain e-commerce companies alleging violations of FDI policy. On this, the Enforcement Directorate has taken the necessary actions under the provisions of…

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