Small-scale Indian traders to protest against Amazon and Flipkart

on Jan 13, 2020
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • Jeff Bezos to visit India next week to head a company event and meet with government officials.
  • CAIT to organize protests in 300 cities against U.S online retailers Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart.
  • CAIT says online retailers' deep discounts have hurt business for local small-scale traders.
  • Amazon and Walmart have widely rebuked the claims.

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Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, is scheduled to visit India in the upcoming week where he will be meeting with government officials and heading a company event. Ahead of his visit, however, sources have informed that several of the Indian small-scale traders are set to protest against Amazon during Bezos’s stay.

Amazon’s event in the next week will be held in New Delhi and is directed at connecting with India’s SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) sector. In his meetings with government officials as well as the Prime Minister of the country, he is likely to hold healthy discussions revolving around the future of e-commerce in India. Amazon representatives have so far not divulged the information about the exact date of Bezos’s arrival or the duration for which he will stay in India.

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Neither Amazon nor the Prime Minister office has so far confirmed the news.

Confederation Of All India Traders To Protest In 300 Cities

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The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has recently announced that it plans on protesting against Amazon in as many as 300 cities during Bezos’s visit to India. The group is an official representation of around 70 million retailers (brick-and-mortar).

Since 2015, CAIT has been active against voicing its opposition towards online retailers including Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart. The group claims that online retailers’ deep discounts are in direct violation of the foreign investment rules of India. Amazon and Walmart, on the other hand, have widely rebuked the allegations.

Amazon has reiterated on multiple occasions its role in providing broader opportunities to hundreds of thousands of artisans, small sellers, women entrepreneurs, and weavers from across the globe. CAIT’s stance, on the other hand, hasn’t budged in response to Amazon’s reassurances.

With a total population of roughly 1.3 billion, India is currently the world’s second-largest user of smart devices with a massive userbase for social media and online shopping. This is what makes the country a key market for American online retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

New Delhi Introduced A Legislation That Minimizes Online Retailers’ Discounts

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According to the Indian traders, the retailers’ deep discounts continue to lure the potential customers into choosing their services to shop for anything from groceries to smart gadgets, resulting in a gigantic setback for the local businesses.

As of last year, however, New Delhi has announced new legislation that disables such online discounts in an attempt to protect 130 million small-scale traders. The new legislation directs the e-commerce companies to adjust their business models. Following the U.S criticism of the new rules, the trade relations between the two countries were adversely affected.

CAIT’s claim against Amazon and Flipkart is currently under review by the Federal Commerce Ministry.


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