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BENGALURU : Delhi-based think tank Empower India has written to the Prime Minister’s office on Monday asking the government to start an investigation on the alleged false documents which cited Amazon’s legal fees to be roughly $1 billion for fiscal year 2019 and 2020.  

The think tank’s letter addressing the Prime Minister stated that the investigation will prevent any false information being spread by trader bodies like The Confederation of  All India Traders (CAIT) or any vested interest party.  

It also called upon the attention of the Prime Minister towards misinformation being spread by prominent trader bodies like CAIT in India.  

Mint has seen a copy of the letter sent on Monday afternoon. When reached out, Empower India’s director general K Giri confirmed the fact that the letter was sent to the PMO on Monday.

 “We want to bring to your kind attention the recent incident regarding misinformation being spread by a prominent traders’ body in India.  This is even more painful as the trader body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has not done basic due diligence on statements which are blatantly false and have peddled the same falsified information to the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industries urging him to take action basis these false numbers," said K Giri addressing to the Prime Minister.  

 “We are writing to you with a deep sense of pain and anguish and request your kind office to take note of these allegations and start an investigation to find the source of these falsified documents," read the letter. 

Empower India also said that certain sects of the media have carried reports stating that the seemingly false documents were provided by ‘government sources’, which is ‘worrisome’. 

Earlier, CAIT had written to the commerce minister Piyush Goyal, asking for a CBI probe into the allegations of bribery against e-commerce giant Amazon India. It had also asked the Minister to take action and suspend the e-commerce portal in the country.  

On Monday, CAIT also wrote to the Prime Minister, asking for his immediate direct intervention to investigate the business module of Amazon India and Flipkart, alleging their exploitations of loopholes within India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy.   

 “As citizens we feel responsible for the country’s growth. Today certain segments are trying to tarnish the image of bureaucrats and the government.  We have full trust in the government and believe that ‘malicious propaganda’ should not be circulated and the impact should not be on bureaucrats [...] We want to know the truth and are asking for an investigation from the government," said Giri to Mint over a phone call.  

 “We are not having any chats or are linked to Flipkart or Amazon. But writing as moral citizens of the country," said Giri.  

In his response, CAIT national secretary Sumit Agarwal said that the traders’ body has been acting on information available in the public domain. 

 “Amazon has started an internal investigation on the matter. And we are reacting to the information put out by reputed media houses.  CAIT has just been acting on the information which is already out in the public domain and asking the government to start an investigation on the matter," said Sumit Agarwal, national secretary, CAIT.  

Agarwal added that he wasn’t aware of the letter sent by Empower India until Monday evening. PMO did not confirm receipt of the letter. 

Last week, Amazon India wrote to commerce minister Goyal stating that an entity called ’Amazon India Limited’ and its legal expenses has been improperly attributed to Amazon. It also added that its actual legal fee expenses for the fiscal year ended March 2020 were approximately 52 crore, in its letter to the minister.   

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