E-commerce giant Amazon Inc on September 27 highlighted its "positive impact on small businesses", noting that over three lakh new sellers in India have benefited through the platform amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The statement from Amazon was issued a day after it was called 'East India Company 2.0' by Panchjanya, a magazine linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The charge was levelled against Amazon for allegedly stifling competition, monopolising the domestic retail market and promoting a select few brands in violation of the domestic e-commerce rules.
Amazon, in what appeared to be a rebuttal, said the company has had a "positive impact on small businesses... including sellers, artisans and weavers, and delivery and logistics partners".
"During the pandemic three lakh new sellers joined us... of which 75,000 were local neighbourhood shops (dukaans) from 450+ cities (selling) furniture, stationery, consumer electronics, beauty products, mobile phones, garments, medical products," NDTV quoted the company's statement as saying.
Amazon further noted that it has aided Indian exporters and increased the presence of 'Made in India' products in the global market.
"Amazon's exports program is witnessing rapid momentum... today there are 70,000+ exporters from metros as well as Tier II, III and IV cities, selling crores of 'made in India' products to customers in 200 countries across the world - truly taking (it) global," the statement said.
On September 26, Panchjanya shared a cover story titled "East India Company 2.0", which will be available in its latest print edition that will hit the stands on October 3.
"Whatever the East India Company did in the 18th century to capture India, the same is visible in the activities of Amazon," the article says.
Claiming that Amazon wants to establish its monopoly in the Indian market, it says, "For doing so, it has started taking initiatives for seizing the economic, political and personal freedom of the Indian citizens."
Hitting out at Amazon's video platform, Prime Video, the article says it has been releasing movies and television series that are against the Indian culture.
It also alleges that Amazon has established many proxy entities and "there are reports that it has distributed crores in bribes for policies in its favour".
There have been reports that the US e-commerce giant is investigating alleged bribes paid by its legal representatives in India and it spent a staggering Rs 8,546 crore or $1.2 billion in legal expenses for maintaining a presence in the country during 2018-20.
The main opposition party, Congress, has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the alleged bribery case involving Amazon.
Earlier, RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch had also demanded action against e-commerce players like Amazon for circumventing laws detrimental to the interests of traders and indulging in unethical business practices.(With PTI inputs)