Statement on Amazon misconstrued, says Piyush Goyal

Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos arrive to an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumba India

But because of that investment, an unfair competition should not be created for the small kirana stores.

At Amazon's Smbhav event on Wednesday, Bezos had announced an investment of $1 billion to digitize small and medium businesses in India and make 21st century "the century of India".

In a 30-minute fireside chat with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and film director Zoya Akhtar, Bezos said that the company's video streaming platform is doing the best in India as compared to any other country in the world. Amazon India also announced to create one million new jobs in the country over the next five years.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi, Mr. Goyal said Amazon was not doing a favour to India when they invested a billion dollars in the country.

Bezos also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

"In the 21st century, the most important alliance will be formed between India and the USA, the world's oldest and the world's largest democracy", he said. "The boundless energy, innovation, and grit of the Indian people always inspire me", he added in the letter.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said his statement regarding Amazon was misconstrued and asserted that the government welcomes all investments but it should adhere to rules and regulations.


Government officials tried to pass off Goyal's comments on the e-commerce giant on Thursday as part of an attempt to soothe an increasingly angry group of small traders who have been complaining about loss of income at a time when the economy is growing at a sluggish 5 per cent.

That was followed on Friday by a proposal to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025. In 2018, India introduced laws barring foreign-owned e-commerce businesses from selling their own inventory and requiring them to be neutral marketplaces, forcing companies such as Amazon to only sell third-party goods from independent sellers. Amazon said its job creation is aligned with the Indian government policy that has prioritised this and skilling initiatives - including the training of more than 400 million people by 2022 - in rural and urban areas.

Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the BJP's foreign affairs department, removed any doubts when he told Reuters that there was "a lot of problem" with The Washington Post's coverage of India.

"I am not opposing Amazon as a company, in fact I am a regular customer", Chauthaiwale told Reuters.

Chauthaiwale has in the past been critical of foreign media's reporting on political issues, including on the disputed region of Kashmir which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, saying coverage has been biased against Modi.

"The Washington Post editorial policy is highly biased and agenda driven".

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