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Cait seeks restriction on eCommerce players, Retail News, ET Retail

Coronavirus: Cait seeks restriction on eCommerce players NEW DELHI: The Confederation of All India Traders (Cait) Monday sought the intervention of India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to curb the sale of electronic products on popular eCommerce sites such as Amazon and Flipkart, and a restriction to supply only essential commodities in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have urged the government to access the impact of Coronavirus on domestic trade,” the Delhi-based group said in a statement said, and expressed deep resentment over the business behaviour of e-Commerce companies.

Following the state governments’ advisories mandating the free-low of essential items including eatables and milk supplies, eCommerce firms are apparently finding it lucrative to allow delivery of non-essential goods such as electronics, gadgets, mobile phones, and accessories among others, making physical dealers and retailers worried.

More than 6 million traders are already observing a three-day shutdown, and following a lockdown in as many as 80 cities, the goods shops would continue to be suspended till March 31.

“At a time when physical markets are closed in may states due to lockdown whereas e-Commerce companies are free to undertake business activities,” Cait president BC Bhartia said.

The group has urged the Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to allow e-Commerce companies to deal only in essential commodities as it is relaxed for the offline markets, and should be directed to close their marketplaces for rest of the items.

Cait said that it has also asked the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to allow necessary incentives in the wake of the pandemic that is expected to prove devastating for the worldwide economy.

“The current financial year should be extended up to April 30, 2020. The government should provide subsidy to traders for awarding wages to their employees during the lockdown period,” Cait secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said.

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