CAIT accuses Amazon of violating FEMA norms; on-line agency denies allegations


New Delhi, November 4

Traders’ body CAIT on Wednesday accused e-commerce major Amazon of indulging in serious contraventions of FDI policy and Foreign Exchange Management Act.

The body also blamed the online firm for not seeking the government’s approval for conducting multi-brand retail activities in India.

“Documents available in the public domain show that Amazon has made an investment of about Rs 35,000 crore in Amazon India – a make-believe e-commerce marketplace platform, but in reality indirectly carrying multi-brand retail business,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a press conference.

Denying the allegations, an Amazon spokesperson said: “As a responsible investor and a long-term player in India, Amazon complies with FDI laws and seeks regulatory approvals including from the Competition Commission of India. Our investment in Future and all investments in India are in compliance with applicable regulations.” 

Khandelwal also alleged that Amazon has investment “of about Rs 4,200 crore in More Retail Limited (a multi-brand retail company) – on the face of it looks like it is controlled by an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) of Samara Capital, and investment of about Rs 1,430 crore in Future Coupons Private Limited – a controlling investment in Future Retail Limited (a multi-brand retail company)”.

The trader’s body claimed that all the above investments are in violation of FEMA Rules and Regulations, and urged the government to take immediate action. Emails sent to Amazon India did not elicit a response till the time of filing of the story.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) wrote to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and “demanded immediate strict action against Amazon for its brazen violation of rule of the law and also demanded imposition of maximum penalty”.

Khandelwal said he has called a meeting of trade leaders from across the country on Friday via video conferencing on the issue.

Traders may be compelled to take to the streets to agitate if no action is taken against Amazon immediately and CAIT will not shy away from approaching the courts if needed on the issue, he added. — PTI



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