Activities Round Up

Date : 01 Jul to 01 Jul 2019
Place : New Delhi
Organised by : FISME

FISME’s presentations before Commerce & Industry Minister on RCEP, e-commerce

 
In two consecutive high level meetings chaired by Commerce and industry Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal on RCEP negotiations and e-commerce, FISME brought MSME perspective into the discourse. On RCEP – an FTA being negotiations between ASEAN countries plus six namely Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, China and India, FISME highlighted the need to protect Indian industry. However, it warned against inverted tariff as powerful lobbies of basic raw material manufacturers such as Steel, Copper, Aluminium and Polymers were asking for almost absolute protection. If these building blocks of economy become expensive due to a highly restrictive import policy, the entire down-stream MSME segment will lose competitiveness.

FISME also stressed not to solely rely on industry feedback but also conduct research to analyse comparative advantage and relative competitiveness. About e-commerce, while FISME is not in favour of a restrictive policy environment for e-commerce, it emphasized need for ensuring fair chance for MSMEs to take advantage of e-commerce. FISME raise the issue that many large e-commerce retailers act both as a retailer themselves as well as a marketplace with obvious conflict of interest. As they have all the data of transactions and buying behaviour, they develop their own Private labels and push to displace a small supplier.

There are widespread reports of predatory pricing to elbow out competition. FISME suggested that because individually MSMEs cannot take up cases of anticompetitive practices with Competition Commission of India, there was a need to support them to check anti-competitive practices.