Published: Sun, January 19, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

My statement on Amazon is being misinterpreted, Government welcomes investment: Piyush Goyal

My statement on Amazon is being misinterpreted, Government welcomes investment: Piyush Goyal

Prime Video is working well all over the world, and there is no place it is doing better than in India.

The current owner of the Post, although he is not in journalism, seems to be enjoying to the hilt his latest job of getting under the skin of the Narendra Modi government. The trade minister was reportedly not impressed with Amazon's plans to invest $1 billion in the country's small businesses. Conventionally, this should have cheered up the Modi government, especially when the Indian economy is witnessing a slowdown.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who appeared wearing a blue-colored traditional Indian jacket, stated: "The dynamism, the energy ... the growth".

But not everyone is buying the economic story.

Bezos, who is on a three-day visit in India, has been facing criticism from the government over regulations and the coverage of The Washington Post, a daily owned by him. In fact, I am a regular customer.

There's "a lot of problems" in how the newspaper is reporting from India, Vijay Chauthaiwale, chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) foreign affairs department, told Reuters.

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The Washington Post editorial policy is highly biased and agenda-driven. This will be in addition to the 7 lakh jobs the company has enabled in India over the last six years.

E-commerce giant Amazon will create 1 million jobs across India by 2025, its chief Jeff Bezos claimed on Friday. (Amazon, meanwhile, is slowly deepening its partnership with Future Retail, the second largest retailer in India). In his letter on the Amazon India platform, Bezos said he is adding 10,000 e-rickshaws in Amazon's delivery fleet and that it will eliminate single-use plastic from its fulfilment network by June. He said Amazon would use its global reach to export $10 billion worth of made-in-India goods.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi, Goyal had on Thursday said that Amazon is not doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars in the country. Amazon is among those whose pricing and discounting practices are under the regulatory scanner in India. "However, the necessary legal process would follow if any investment is made outside the purview of law", he said. "But this investment should not create unfair competition to small traders and retail businessmen in India", he said.

Representatives of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) issued a statement post their meeting with Goyal in the capital on Saturday. From Delhi, Bezos went on to Mumbai where he visited a neighborhood store.

Goyal clarified his remarks on Twitter as well as to reporters saying some people have misconstrued his remarks by suggesting that he had said something negative against Amazon. On Friday, the company declared it planned to create a million jobs within the country by 2025.

He pledged that the funding would impact up to 10m small and medium businesses in India, including manufacturers, resellers, small local shops and brands of all sizes, and "help Indian businesses grow by selling online worldwide".

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