India’s trade body on Friday welcomed Narendra Modi government’s clampdown on goods coming through e-commerce portals using the “gift” route. It came a day after the Indian government prohibited such imports except for life-saving drugs and Rakhi. The import of gifts was earlier free and not subject to any customs duty.
The notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued on Thursday will impact Chinese e-commerce websites like Club Factory, Ali Express and Shein.
Welcoming the move, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said, “the Prohibition of goods being imported into India from Chinese e-commerce portals via the ‘gift route’ is a step forward in curbing unethical and unfair business practices adopted by e-commerce companies.”
“This step to curb such imports sends a strong signal to all e-commerce portals to conduct business in a fair and non- predatory manner thereby ensuring fair market competition and also maintaining the sanctity of Indian laws,” the CAIT said in a release.
In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 November, the umbrella organisation, representing about 70 million traders in India, said it wants an opportunity to inform him of the unfair trade practices being implemented by the US e-commerce major Amazon, in the country.
The CAIT says that by selling goods at much lower prices, e-commerce companies are causing “huge GST revenue loss to the government”.