Taking a strong note of a media story released by a global wire Agency titledÂ â€œU.S. defended Amazon after article showed company bypassed Indian lawâ€ ofÂ Â 21st May 2021,Â the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a communication sent today to Union Commerce Minister Shri Piyush Goyal has strongly condemned the most uncalled for remarks of US Mission in India about Shri Goyal protecting misdeeds of Amazon. As per media story of the wire agency,Â Â the US Embassy in India in an internalÂ emailÂ purported & reportedlyÂ sent byÂ Mr. CarnegieÂ to Mr. John Kerry, one of President Joe Bidenâ€™s top envoysÂ in reference to questionable business practices of Amazon saidÂ â€œThis could come up in the call since as you know Minister Goyal is prone to bring up tangential topics,“.Â It is most striking that the note was prepared by Mr. Carnegie defending Amazon Indiaâ€™s businessÂ illegalÂ practices which have come under the lensÂ of regulatory and enforcement agenciesÂ in India.Â Â
The CAIT further said that this is not the first time that the Country has been humiliated. As per the same global wire agency in anotherÂ storyÂ titledÂ â€œTest the Boundaries’ ‘, released about three months back ,Â it was reported that an internal note of Amazon referred to our Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi asÂ â€˜notÂ an intellectual or an academic person â€™therebyÂ attempted toÂ reduceÂ theÂ stature as the Prime Minister of the worldâ€™s largest democracy. The validity of this story can easily be established that although more than 4 months have passed and the global wire Agency has levelled serious charges against Amazon but no substantial action has been taken by Amazon to deny the contents of the said media story
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal in a joint statement issued here today said “we strongly deplore both Amazon and the US Mission in India forÂ creating the note to defend Amazonâ€™s position andÂ its illegalÂ business practices after a prominent section of our media exposed Amazonâ€™s illegal, unfair and discriminatory business practices and its violation ofÂ wide-ranging Indian laws
The sweeping statement madeÂ in the reported e-mail isÂ a blatant attack on the dignity and integrity of the Government of India and reeks of seemingly vested interests that the US Mission in IndiaÂ has in Amazon.”. Both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that it is not just unusual but also unwarranted for the US Embassy to make such remarks against a Cabinet Minister whose reputation precedes him and is an attack on the functioning of a sovereign nationÂ and its Government.Â It is also unusual that the purpose of such a remark is to defend a private company and its long-standing illegal, unfair and discriminatory practices.Â Â It is unimaginable to see how a foreign private company can make such staggering remarks about ourÂ Prime Minister, Government of India or any of itsÂ cabinet ministers, especially in a country that isÂ largest democracy of the world and isÂ stated to be oneÂ of its biggest markets and become one of its top 5 markets in terms of revenue by 2023.Â
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that Amazon has been at the forefront of destroying the backbone of the Indian retail industry i.e. Kirana Retail yet it regularly makes an attempt to paint a picture in which it portrays itself as a savior of small and medium merchants and traders. Amazonâ€™s cat and mouse game with the Government of India has been going on for a long time and it has been indulging in creative structuring of its entities and associated business enterprises to control inventory and subsequently, prices in e-commerce which is expressly prohibited by the FDI Policy. Owing to itsÂ ruthless andÂ discriminatoryÂ business practices, thereÂ are active investigations ongoingÂ by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and before the courts of law.Â
Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that it is pertinent to note thatÂ India has always welcomedÂ Foreign Governments and industry with open arms and has created a conducive environment for business to thrive in India. It is no wonder that under the able leadership of the Honâ€™ble PM Shri. Narendra ModiÂ Â and the groundbreaking work done by Mr. Goyal, India has risen toÂ 63rdÂ in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings, which is a staggering feat considering that India was 142ndÂ inÂ the world inÂ 2014.Â While the Government ofÂ India and its functionaries are working tirelessly to engage and facilitate business in India, these foreign governments and privateÂ foreignÂ companies are makingÂ a mockery of the establishment based out of their deep-rooted prejudices against India and its highest functionaries.
Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that it is to be noted that Amazon and otherÂ Companies are finding ways in Press Note No.2 of the FDI policy and we have to admit that the said Press Note does carry some loopholes, therefore,it is our sincere request to you thatÂ aÂ fresh Press NoteÂ be issued as soon as possible, clarifying the FDI Policy. Further, Amazon andÂ theÂ U.S.Â Mission in IndiaÂ should be warned to desist from their interference in Indian Policy and its enforcement and also from theirÂ utterly irresponsible and derogatory remarks made against the Honâ€™ble PM and your good self.