Why not so BEJOD Welcome for BEJOS this time … ?????

JEFF BEZOS the Amazon CEO was on a India visit but the welcome he received is not all acceptable to the standards we expect when someone of as big stature as he visits us . He was welcomed with placards of ‘BEZOS GO BACK‘ and union ministers gave highly discouraging and foolish statements . In his whole trip our Prime Minister wasn’t able to spare a few hours to make a visit to him which is a big talking point and in my take this Episode has brought a bad name for our country .

Other than that it faced more of a SWADESHI resistance by CONFEDERATION OF ALL INDIA TRADERS (CAIT) and many other Trade Bodies joined in this ‘Protest Festival’ . Reason is the losses incurred by retail businesses due to online firms and they wanted them to adhere to standards . The COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA (CCI) is even opening an antitrust investigation into Amazon and Flipkart over 4 major complaints :

  1. Exclusive launch of mobile phones by e-commerce firms
  2. Deep discounting practises and predatory pricing
  3. Prioritising some seller listings over others in which these firms have Equity holdings
  4. Promoting those preferred sellers on their websites .

In response , Amazon has said that it is confident that it will be able to address it’s part and will successfully counter arguments against it . India according to it’s Antitrust Laws basically wants the e-commerce firms to act in a neutral way somewhat like e-Bay . Amazon basically purchases in bulk and so is able to sell off to customers at lower prices which according to retailers is hurting them adversely .The new e-Commerce rules of India ask the online retail firms to follow some guidelines :

  1. There should be a clear distinction between marketplace and products sold on it . The platform can’t sell the products produced by companies it is related or have a control over .
  2. They need to operate in a fair and non-discriminatory manner while treating third parties and while offering discounts .
  3. They need to maintain Neutrality over the use of customer’s data over Internet .

PIYUSH GOYAL and US Commerce Secretary WILBUR ROSS sparred over American e-commerce firms have been cutting back investment in India over a last couple of years .

The former said that

. “Amazon and Flipkart are not doing India any FAVOURS by investing billions they are just covering their Losses ; instead they should focus on following rules and not on finding Loopholes .“India under Modi Government has a clear stand , it is open to all e-commerce firms but only if they don’t indulge in predatory pricing , work completely within the ambit of law and don’t throw Indian retailers out of business with their global capital . These firms are not founding India attractive anymore as it can no longer do predatory pricing . Maybe they overinvested earlier … I don’t know (taking a dig)” .

To this the latter replied with an apt argument –

“Online retail firms bring the needs of customers at their Doorstep that too at lower prices and citing that illegal is slapping the customers of country . Amazon was planning for more investments in India but it is these discouraging policies leading to diminution in growth that they have cut it’s spending to one third of what it was an year back . Even in US farmers and retailers had hard time but we managed there with a combination if e-commerce and Brick and Mortar policies . Amazon and other e-retailers haven’t become so big companies just with evil practices . Instead they have worked for specific demands and satisfying specific needs of the public . These policies by India will lead to low choice and high prices for customers and will affect Economy even adversely”.

During the visit , Bezos started with a tribute to MAHATMA GANDHI posting one of his Quotes . He also met and had a discussion with the King of Bollywood SHAH RUKH KHAN and Director ZOYA AKHTAR which was indeed a witty and inspirational conversation . Bezos announced an investment of $1Billion and gave the target of 10 billion worth of exports by 2025 . He also said that the biggest alliance of this century is going to be between ‘World’s Oldest Democracy’ (US) and ‘World’s largest Democracy’ (INDIA) .

It’s not the first visit of Jeff India . He came in 2014 when he met prime minster NaMo and he was also one of the 20 industrialists whom the latter net on his US Trip . But , this time our prime minister couldn’t spare time for him . Reasons are being given that it was pre decided much earlier that they won’t meet due to the busy Schedule of PM . OK … I accept he is a busy man but if a person of as big a stature as Bezos comes to India , instead he should have searched for an opportunity to meet him . In my opinion he should have had discussions on Economic slowdown and amongst it how his firm is still doing well in India .

Not just that , having a small only but meeting (from his 18 hour schedule) would have kept our Friendly impression alive which I think has been badly hurt . Also , just think for a while if the issues which the Government has with the online portals , if our prime minister would himself have laid in front of Jeff with a clear message , just imagine the Impact it would have had . A PM himself raising an issue has a completely different impact as compared to a clueless minister giving the arguments . Also , a big failure of this Modi Government in my opinion was to not able to curb the Strong Opposition faced by Bezos . You have some issues it’s OK … we can have DISCUSSION on it but it’s not the way that large no. of people gather showing placards , what a Dumb impression it’s creating of our country in outside world .

A big question is that even till now , if we will keep on giving preferential treatment and keep on hindering competition , how will our industries grow . We are being told to target 5 Trillion Economy … like this ????? We can’t face any competition from foreign countries (RCEP Deal) nor we want some healthy competition from Online portals then why are we even here at the first place , it absolutely makes no sense . Just shut down everything and sit at home watching TV .

One more speculation is coming that since WASHINGTON POST (WP) is owned by Jeff and is very critical of the decisions by Modi Government even the scrapping of Article 370 and implementing CAA_NRC . So the government is trying to show it’s anger and upset over the neutrality shown by WP and it not being like our Godi Media . If that is the case then it’s an even more shameful thing . If ‘Difference of Opinion’ is leading to adverse relations then there is something really serious to look into . Whatever be the government’s take on it , in my opinion it was a big slap on India’s impression in outside world .



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