Amazon hasn't done India any big favours by investing $1 billion in the country, its trade minister said on Thursday, laying bare the tensions with the U.S. online retail giant during a visit by its CEO Jeff Bezos. "So it's not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars". "Don't try to find loopholes within defined letter of the law alone when very clearly we have articulated what the e-commerce marketplace model is". It has been speculated that both Goyal and PM Modi were not meeting Bezos not just because Amazon faces protests from traders in India, but also because the government was unhappy with the Washington Post's criticism of the government. Apart from the billion dollar investment, which is aimed at bringing millions of Indian businesses online, the billionaire pledged to export $10 billion worth of Indian products by 2025.
"If they are getting a billion to finance losses then the question to be raised is where the loss came from, authorities will seek answers", Goyal added, apparently referring to the probe.
Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, who arrived in India on Tuesday to meet senior government officials and business leaders, said on Wednesday that the e-commerce giant would invest $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) to digitise small and medium businesses in India.
Goyal reiterated that foreign e-commerce players would have to abide by the local law if they want to continue to operate in the nation.
The minister added: "How can a marketplace make such a big loss unless they are indulging in predatory pricing or some unfair trade practises?"
The Commerce Minister's statements come at a time when the Competition Commission of India opened an investigation into Amazon's business practices, which came under the radar after several small traders complained about the e-commerce behemoth's excessive sway over the market. "In this 21st century, the most important alliance is going to be the US-India alliance", he added.
"I've said this to investors. please follow letter and spirit of the law".