Chidambaram takes dig at Goyal after his snub to Jeff Bezos

Monday, 20 Jan, 2020

Amazon claims its $1 billion investment will bring more than 10 million Indian businesses online and will enable the export of goods manufactured in India worth $10 billion by 2025. But his commitment towards creating sustainable growth for the country is here to stay, the CEO said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has left India after a three-day-long visit but he made huge promises to millions of his customers, and he did it in style.

Amazon is looking to build large delivery hubs in Bengaluru and Hyderabad for its Amazon Fresh two-hour grocery and fresh produce retailing service, a person aware of the development said, as the company increases its bet on daily essentials ordered online.

The Indian government has also been angered by the editorial stance of the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, the world's richest man, particularly over New Delhi's actions in disputed Kashmir. Goyal spoke to representatives of a trade association on Saturday, calling on small businesses to modernize and take over e-commerce to compete with other companies.

Bezos has attracted significant opposition during a tour of India meant to underscore its importance as a growth driver for Amazon. He said, "Amazon can invest a billion dollars, but if they are losing billions, then they must be arranging that billion dollars". However, Bezos' announcement was overshadowed by the remarks of India's trade minister, Piyush Goyal, who said Amazon is not doing India any favors by announcing the new investments and said the company was entering the Indian market to help it finance losses.

Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the BJP's foreign affairs department, removed any doubts when he told Reuters that there was "a lot of problem" with The Washington Post's coverage of India. We welcome investments that come under those laws.

"Until and unless these e-commerce brands do not comply to the norms of the FDI policy in India, there is no use in initiating a conversation", Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT, told Sputnik.
Another theory that is doing the rounds is that the Modi government wants to protect the interest of small traders and shop owners, since they constitute a major vote bank for the ruling BJP. Amazon's operations network has created inclusive job opportunities across the country, including hundreds of associates with hearing and speech impairment at its fulfilment centres, sortation stations, and delivery stations.

Additionally, the letter mentions how more than 550,000 mall and medium businesses (SMBs) in India are using Amazon India to reach out to the masses.

A day after belittling Amazon's billion dollar investment, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday clarified that government welcomes all kinds of investments into the country which are within the ambit of the law. The CCI will be investigating four alleged violations such as the exclusive launch of mobile phones, preferred sellers on the platforms, deep discounting and preferential promotion of private labels.