Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said that the Government has ‘no plans’ to introduce FDI for e-commerce retail in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
She stated that the existing FDI policy did not define ‘e-commerce retail’. Earlier this month, she met with representatives from the states and industry to consult on the matter.
The Finance Minister of Haryana, Captain Abhimanyu, stated that any decision on the matter would have to be taken with ‘stakeholders at the state level’ and the states would have to be assured that ‘the interests of the consumers, small retailers and SMEs would be protected’.
Currently, the Indian Government allows FDI in B2B industries but not in the case of companies selling to consumers directly. The main concern lies in the online e-tailers offering low prices if they have access to foreign investment which would affect brick and mortar retailers unfavourably.
It was agreed that the states would offer their views on the matter in 15 days time.