Upset over the minimum penalty of merely Rs25,000 on Amazon India for not providing the mandatory details of 'Country of Origin' of the products displayed on its platform, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded that a 7-day ban be imposed on Amazon and other big e-commerce companies for violating the rules and policies.
The CAIT said the fundamental of levying the fine is to make offenders realise for not committing the same offence any more. However, the paltry monetary penalty has no significance at all.
"Let there be an exemplary punishment," it said in a note on November 27.
CAIT National President Mr B C Bhartia and Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal said in a joint statement that levying such a small amount on a foreign e-commerce giant for violating Indian law is nothing but a mockery of our judicial and administrative system.
They said the punishment should be equal to the damage caused by them on our economy, and it should have reflected a clear message to the foreign e-commerce players disobeying the law of the land.
On November 26, the Centre imposed fines on Amazon for failing to comply with rules which mandate e-commerce companies to display country of origin of products sold on its platform.
Both Amazon and Flipkart were issued notices in this regard by the Consumer Affairs Ministry in October. The penalty was imposed as Amazon’s answer was found “unsatisfactory”, as per an order dated November 19, it said.
The fine imposed as per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules is Rs 25,000 per director, for first offences. Flipkart has not been fined yet for the same.
However, Bhartia and Khandelwal said given the magnitude of e-commerce business in India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for "vocal for local" and "atmnirbhar bharat", the description of Country of Origin is now mandatory and for disobeying this law for the first time, the ecommerce portal should be banned for 7 days; for the second time, it should be banned for 15 days; and for the third time, the portal should be banned till the time, it complies fully with the law.
The Government is custodian of the laws framed by it and therefore, it is the duty of the government to maintain sanctity and strict implementation of the law both in letter and spirit, they added.