Traders oppose FDI in retail, ecommerce; HC asks Centre to take views

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to treat as a representation a plea of a traders association which is opposed to FDI in multi-brand retail and e-commerce.

Justice Mukta Gupta asked the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to prepare a fresh representation, as the petition did not show how they were being impacted by the government’s FDI policy, and to send it to the Centre within a week.

The court observed that while framing a policy the executive is required to take views of all the stakeholders and therefore, “it would be appropriate” that CAIT is also afforded an opportunity to be heard.

It passed the order while disposing of the plea of CAIT which has alleged that the current policy of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail was “creating an uneven playing field by giving a source of abundant resources and deep finance to large retailers and multi-national corporations”.

The court’s decision came after the Centre said the plea can be treated as a representation as was done in the case of Retailers Association of India (RAI) which has sought parity with e-commerce sites.

The high court on May 20 had asked the Centre to consider as a representation RAI’s plea and to take a decision within four months.

CAIT has also opposed the 100 per cent FDI in e-commerce, claiming that though the investment is allowed in business to business model, e-portals are circumventing regulations and engaging in business to customer model by projecting themselves as a “marketplace”.

CAIT has contended that the current policy would allow “big players” to monopolise and dominate the market.