India says not extending Feb. 1 deadline for e-commerce regulations
MUMBAI: India will not extend beyond Feb. 1 a deadline for the implementation of modified foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for its e-commerce sector, it said in an official notification on Thursday.
The decision not to delay the rules was taken after “due consideration”, India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion said.
The move comes despite intense lobbying by Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon.com to get an extension to the deadline.
Amazon said in a statement it remained committed to complying with all laws and regulations.
“We will continue to look to engage with the government to seek clarifications that help us decide our future course of action as well as minimize the impact on our customers and sellers,” the Seattle, Washington-based company said.
Flipkart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
New Delhi modified rules around FDI in e-commerce in late December, creating additional hurdles for retail giants Walmart and Amazon.
The rules do not allow e-commerce sites to “exercise ownership or control over the inventory” of sellers as well as prohibit vendors in which e-commerce firms have a stake from selling on their online marketplaces.
The policy will create new headaches for Walmart which last year invested $16 billion for control of home-grown Flipkart, and Amazon which has committed $5.5 billion to India, as both companies would now be forced tweak business structures there.
Local group the Confederation of All India traders welcomed the government’s decision, while the All India Online Vendors Association, a group of about 3,500 online sellers, said the government needed to make sure rules were not circumvented.