Home / Companies / AskMeBazaar’s pending payments: Vendors’ body meets Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: All India Online Vendors’ Association met with commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday on the issue of pending payment from e-commerce firm AskMeBazaar that suspended its operations last month.

The minister spoke to corporate affairs secretary, who assured her that he shall take up the issues raised on a priority basis, according to three tweets by the official Twitter handle of the commerce and industry ministry, CIM India@GOI on Monday.

All India Online Vendors’ Association did not respond to a message sent on Monday evening.

AskMe Group that runs AskMeBazaar, besides deals portal AskMe.com, grocery marketplace AskMeGrocery, furniture and home décor portal Mebelkart suspended operations due to shortage of funds, Mint reported on 20 August.

It has accused its investor, Astro Entertainment Networks Ltd, which owns 99% stake in the group, of not making payments.

Astro, on the other hand, has said it has invested $300 million in Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd, which runs AskMe, since 2010, and has criticized AskMe for its inability to make its business profitable despite the investment.

The whole issue has left around 4,000 people jobless and several vendors without payments.

Meanwhile, Sanjiv Gupta, managing director of Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd, which runs AskMe, moved the tribunal against Getit and Astro for alleged mismanagement of the company.

The National Company Law Tribunal, late last month also asked Astro Entertainment Networks Ltd not to exit e-commerce website AskMe.com, in which it is an investor, for six weeks.

Vipul Ganda, the advocate representing Gupta, told court that, the company owes at least Rs300 crore to creditors.

If Astro exits, then the dues must be cleared first, he said. Mint reported the development on 31 August.

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