The main sectors covered under the scheme include handicrafts, handloom, khadi, garments, coir, bamboo, agro processing, honey etc.
Over 6,00,000 small Indian traders, distributors,and merchants on April 14 came together to launch ‘Asmbhav Summit’ to raise voice against practices of foreign e-commerce retailers.
Asmbhav Summit goes live on April 15, 2021.
The representatives were of the opinion that till such time that India continues to allow foreign retailers to masquerade as marketplaces and platforms in India, success for small Indian sellers would be impossible.
The summit presents an important forum for participants whose lives and livelihoods have been marred by the highly discriminatory and bullying attitude of foreign e-commerce retailers posing as marketplaces to collectively raise their voice against these partisan practices and impress upon the government the need for urgent regulatory and legal intervention.
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Apart from these, the summit seeks to forcefully bring the traders’ severe grievances and the various challenges they face while selling on-line to foreign retailers posing as marketplaces.
"Being Indian, our mobile retailers deserve a level and equitable playing field. This is today just a pipe dream because of the nefarious practices adopted by the big foreign retailers operating platforms.
"Firstly, on the one hand, these global retailers directly tie up with leading mobile brands and on the other engage their own select resellers, who are none other than their related parties, to sell these brands on an exclusive basis. Such tie-ups are both illegal and monopolistic," AIMRA president Arvinder Khurana said.
He added, "AIMRA Due to these malpractices thousands of retailers across India are facing un-survivable losses and are facing threats to their livelihoods. We appeal to the government to not allow foreign retailers to run marketplaces since these companies as their real intent and agenda is to run a retail operation in the name of a marketplace."
On the other hand AICPDF president Dhairyashil Patil said that the current FDI norms prohibit e-commerce companies from ownership or control over the inventory of sellers on its platform. "By gross misconduct and bending of laws, marketplace companies masquerading as platforms have played havoc with their trader partners," he added.
PRAHAR's Abhay Raj Mishra alleged that he small sellers did not benefit from the boom in online sales, as the earnings have been amassed by the 5-6 related parties who do 90% business on foreign retailers owned marketplaces.
Meanwhile, the Union government is working on a draft e-commerce policy. The small traders are hoping that enough safeguards and protection will be made possible by the government in this policy update.