Originally published January 27th 2013

Industry body Assocham has inquired the government to withdraw the ban on foreign direct investment in retail e-commerce business. DS Rawat, Assocham secretary general, has written to Telecom and IT minister Kapil Sibal looking for his support in take off current limitation on Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce.

As per the existing standards, e-commerce companies involved in business-to-business trade, like marketing materials or bulk good to business firms are permitted to drill up to 100 per cent FDI in their company. In December 2012, a major Indian e-commerce firm had come under reviewer of enforcement directorate for supposed offense of the present FDI norms. Rawat said that figured revenue from this sector is likely to be about $15 billion by 2015 and can lead to broader reach of farmers and other domestic merchandise firms, helping them recognize better worth of their products.

Besides, consumers will have maximum choices still in the farthest locations of the nation. Rawat mentioned the example of China, which has permitted over 500 Chinese companies to trade good through global websites. "It does not make ambivalency with small retailers and kirana shops," he said.

Rawat said that FDI allow in B2C e-commerce part will draw investment in back-end infrastructure of companies in country which in turn will make multiple job opportunities. "Customer care, IT and IT modified services, warehousing... administration for e-commerce have been reckoned to create over 1 million extra jobs by 2021," he added.

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