The current scenario suggests that writing complaint letters and alleging violations of government policies to different authorities by ecommerce giants Amazon and Flipkart authorities didn’t help much for the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and now to further show their dissatisfaction against Amazon and Flipkart, the CAIT went on a day-long hunger strike on December 27th across 500 cities in India.
The protestors here are not just demanding the government to take immediate action against Flipkart and Amazon but also against other online platforms providing services around travel, logistics, consumer durables and home buying.
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT shared the motive behind the hunger strike and said that the organization is eager to witness the Indian ecommerce market free of all unfair and unhealthy business practices. He added that they will continue their nation-wide agitation till the time government takes any action.
The hunger strike was reportedly staged at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and attended by traders arriving from Delhi NCR region. Khandelwal with BC Bhartiya, CAIT’s national president further alleged that both Flipkart and Amazon are now trying to develop a narrative of being trader friendly by enticing small traders to come on their platform.
The traders’ body which is alreadydisappointeddue to MSME Ministry partnering with small companies commented that about seven crore traders strictly criticize this action and will opposeevery plan of the ministry taken in this regard. The CAIT believes that the protesting traders all over Indiahave stood against Amazon and Flipkart because of the devastation of their businesses. In addition to this the traders body also claimed that lot of businesses in the country had to shut down because of these big companies. The CAIT went on to question that how any business could be allowed to continue its operations by participating into brutal violation of the Government policies.
The CAIT alleged that these ecommerce majors indulge into preferential seller system. CAIT further alleged that more than 80% of sales on their platform are completed only y 10 to 15 preferred sellers.
Unnoticed Letters of CAIT
Before the execution of the hunger strike multiple letters were written by the CAIT to PM Modi, however no response came from the other end.
CAIT on Dec 3 urged PM Modi in a letter to check the business models of Amazon and Flipkart once because according to them, the two majors are violating the Press Note 2. CAIT mentioned about the practices like deep discounting, controlling inventory, predatory pricing and maintaining preferential seller system which are followed by Flipkart and Amazon have led to an uneven playing field, unethical and unfair competition.
The CAIT had previously called e-commerce companies as economic offenders since they had violated foreign direct investments norms according to them. CAIT now had urged Piyush Goyal, commerce minister to take serious action against them.
The Traders’ body on the other hand in a letter to the Finance Minister appealed on Nov 25 to initiate a high-level enquiry to investigate the avoidance of due tax liability by these ecommerce companies.