Swadeshi Jagran Manch Seeks Ban On Amazon And Flipkart For Anti-Competitive Practices
In another of its resolutions passed during the annual conclave held earlier, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has demanded that the Indian government rescind the permissions that it has given ecommerce giants Amazon and Flipkart to do business in the country.
SJM is affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) — a right-wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer organisation. It promotes a nationalist economic and cultural agenda.
The SJM alleged that these ecommerce giants engage in unfair business practices, including predatory pricing enabled by a heavy cash-burning business model using foreign funds that make it impossible for small local retailers to compete with them. According to SJM, this is in direct contravention of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in the country.
The organisation went on alleging that there exists a nexus between Amazon and certain resellers on the platform (the resolution names Cloudtail and Appario). The resolution pointed towards the Amazon scandal where it was reported that the ecommerce giant used third-party data from the sellers on its platform to create their own in-house products that compete with the products offered by these sellers.
The other allegations made by the resolution include:
1. That for every job created by Amazon, it destroys ten jobs, usually of people working in local Kirana stores or running their own small businesses
2. That Amazon meets with startups under the pretence of investing in them, only to use the data they receive to launch competing products
3. That Amazon spends a large amount of money in legal fees and that some of this money is diverted to pay off bribes.
Many of the allegations against Amazon have already been aimed at the company in the past from various quarters. But an interesting observation of this particular resolution is that even though it called for the ban of both Amazon and Flipkart-Walmart, most of the allegations are aimed exclusively at Amazon.
Apart from calling for these companies’ activities to be declared illegal, the SJM also requested that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be commissioned to investigate these matters to the fullest.
In another one of its resolutions, the SJM had called for a complete ban on private cryptocurrencies, while supporting the exploration of blockchain technology.