Gadkari’s comment comes at a time when India is evaluating stricter foreign direct investment rules for the e-commerce industry. The Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) held several consultative meetings with trade associations, businesses and traders’ organizations over the past month to develop the regulations.
In addition, a copy of the upcoming draft e-commerce policy, which ET reviewed, showed that the long-awaited regulation could be aimed at curbing the alleged circumvention of FDI standards and anti-competitive activities by e-commerce players. .
According to Gadkari, who is the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the central government, e-commerce companies must enable MSMEs to build their capacity which includes inputs on design, manufacture, maintenance of product quality and scale of their business.
“E-commerce players, such as Amazon, should continue to focus on these capacity building activities. The adoption of technology, coupled with the right inputs and mentorship, will define the long-term success of this industry, ”Gadkari said at the virtual event.
The Minister also praised the e-commerce companies for enabling the digital transformation of millions of MSMEs in India. “E-commerce has empowered small and marginal sellers by expanding their reach, not only nationally, but also globally,” he said. “I urge Amazon and all stakeholders, industry leaders and experts present today, to continue investing to enhance the potential of Indian MSMEs and make them more efficient and profitable.”
India has around 63 million SMEs. Amazon India has around 700,000 sellers on its platform.
Gadkari’s speech followed a discussion between Andrew Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services and new CEO of Amazon.com Inc., and Amazon India Director Amit Agarwal. They announced a $ 250 million fund for India to focus on the digitization of SMEs, agricultural technology and health technology.
Meanwhile, a consortium claiming to represent hundreds of thousands of small retailers launched the “Asmbhav Summit (impossible)” in parallel on Thursday, demanding tighter regulation and penalization of foreign markets. They also called on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to investigate foreign markets for violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).