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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (AP)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (AP)

CAIT seeks meeting with PM ahead of Jeff Bezos's visit to India

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is expected to meet the PM during his visit to India
  • CAIT has been agitating against the entry of foreign e-retailers in India

NEW DELHI : Traders' association Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), on Thursday said it has sent a letter to the prime minister’s office seeking a meeting with the PM ahead of billionaire Jeff Bezos’s visit to India this month. Amazon’s founder is expected to be in India next week, at the company’s two-day summit meant for small and medium businesses that will see the participation of SMBs, start-ups and micro-entrepreneurs, along with industry leaders Kishore Biyani, and NR Narayana Murthy. Bezos is also expected to meet the PM during his visit to India, according to several media reports.

But the traders' body that has been agitating against the entry of foreign e-retailers in India over concerns that steep discounting and hefty investments by them have created an uneven level playing field in India’s retail market wishes to reiterate its concerns to the PM again.

“In the wake of the visit of Jeff Bezos to India and his likely meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a communication sent to Prime Minister today urged for a meeting with CAIT leaders delegation prior to his proposed meeting with Amazon CEO to apprise the Prime Minister about factual position on this critical issue and how Amazon & Flipkart are destroying the business of small traders of the Country," CAIT said in a statement on Thursday.

CAIT has also raised concerns around predatory pricing followed by e-commerce companies that it says has impacted business for small, offline retailers in India. More recently, it has also raised concerns over alleged violation of FDI rules by foreign e-commerce companies here.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT, said that it is a matter of grave concern that with malpractices of e-commerce companies, prominently Amazon and Flipkart, has greatly hurt the business of small traders across the country. Their collusion with brands, companies, and banks have compelled the closure of thousands of small traders dealing in kirana shops, mobile, electronics, electrical items, apparels, he said.

Amazon and Walmart have both investing heavily in the country’s retail market where small traders and mom-pop stores form the backbone of retail trading. But America's biggest retailers are now warring for share in India's e-commerce market.

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