Traders’ body CAIT has urged the government to ban discounts that e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Amazon offer during festival season sales. Traders’ body CAIT wants to ban the same as it violates FDI norms. In a letter to commerce and industry minister, Piyush Goyal, CAIT said festival sales and deep discounts being offered by these companies are against the mandate for foreign direct investment policy.

“…we request you to please immediately look into the matter and stop these Companies for organizing any festival sales or other sales having an element of predatory pricing or deep discounting,” the CAIT said in its letter to the minister. The letter also includes the names of Flipkart and Amazon.

The traders’ body also provided “substantial evidence” of e-commerce portals indulging into predatory pricing and deep discounting. Since they are openly flouting FDI norms, it said, a “blanket ban” on festival sales should be ordered. Moreover, the trader’s body wants to how these e-commerce giants are flouting FDI norms, following which the body wants the government to investigate the matter.

When contacted, Amazon India spokesperson said “Our marketplace provides this opportunity to more than five lakh sellers. A majority of whom are small businesses, women entrepreneurs, startups, weavers and artisans as well as emerging brands to offer their products to customers across India.” “As an e-commerce platform, we are boosting economic activity in India, supporting local manufacturing, Indian handicrafts and creating lakhs of new jobs in line with the vision of Hon’ble PM Modi,” Flipkart said.

Besides, Flipkart recently announced that its Big Billion Days sale will kick off from September 29 to October 4. The sale starts from midnight of September 29 and Flipkart Plus members get four-hour early access to all the deals. The six-day event will see 10 percent instant discount on Axis Bank debit and credit cards and ICICI Bank credit cards. The Walmart-owned e-commerce platform says the sale will see lakhs of sellers, artisans and brands from the country.

The Big Billion Days sale will see categories open to consumers on different days. Deals and offers on mobiles and electronic devices and accessories will open to consumers on September 30. Other categories like TVs and Appliances, Fashion, Home and Furniture, Smart Devices and more will open on September 29. Flipkart claims that it has more than doubled the number of pincodes where it offers pick-up capabilities to sellers. It has also added 30,000 kiranas to its network to handhold customers through online purchase journey.

With inputs from PTI