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To take on the likes of Amazon and Flipkart, CAIT to launch e-commerce portal

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary, CAIT, said that a pilot project of the initiative has already begun in Madhya Pradesh where individual e-stores have been created for the traders.

January 29, 2020 / 04:25 PM IST

The Confederation of Indian Traders (CIAT) will be launching its own e-commerce portal in April that would have an in-built mechanism to check price distortions and deep discounting, if any, to take on e-commerce behemoths like Amazon or Flipkart.

"If there are any abnormal discounts, the system will automatically bring the trader in the red zone where we can ask them how they are giving abnormal discounts. Method of checking price distortion is integrated in the system," Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary, CAIT, told Moneycontrol.

CAIT would be getting traders onboard on a platform in which every registered trader would have his own e-store and site. The platform will also reflect the nearest stores as first preference.

"We shall be providing the technology platform where we will create e-store of every trader. Putting a price is the domain of the traders. We have no control on the inventory or prices," Khandelwal said.

The portal would have a digitally enabled payment system and the association would also provide logistics and other support by enlisting their logistics partners and traders would be able to choose their partners.

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The nationwide platform would provide a B2B and B2C e-commerce platform for small retailers and traders.

Khandelwal said that a pilot project of the initiative has already begun in Madhya Pradesh where individual e-stores have been created for the traders.

This comes in the backdrop of CAIT raising objections to e-commerce companies, which they accuse of distorting the market.

In a letter to Commerce minister Piyush Goyal dated January 24, CAIT has alleged that the common phenomenon in these companies of incurring huge yearly losses and earning revenues is not a healthy business practice.

The Competition Commission of India had ordered a probe into Amazon and Flipkart over their discounting practices, exclusive brand launches on the platforms and the preferential treatment they have allegedly offered to certain mobile phones sellers.

The commerce minister came out in support of domestic traders and said that Amazon was not doing India any favours. His statement came a day after the Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to invest an additional $1 billion in the country, adding that this was probably on account of a need to fund losses.

On January 27, Goyal had asked traders to promote swadeshi by selling and consuming local products, saying it will help in boosting economic growth to double digits.

The minister also asked CAIT to prepare a data base of a number of shops and people employed in those establishments in the country as that data will help the government implement demands made by the traders community effectively.

"On the pattern of the National Population Register, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAT) will prepare a data of traders and their employees engaged in business activities in all states and union territories across the country to better address the basic problems of trading community with the  government so that traders can can seek formulation of better  policies for the business class based on that data," CAIT said in a statement on January 29.
Kamalika Ghosh
first published: Jan 29, 2020 04:25 pm

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