Dejected with the 'minimum' monetary penalty imposed on Amazon India for not providing mandatory details about products displayed on its platform, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday demanded a seven-day ban on the e-commerce giant and other big e-commerce companies who have been continuously offending the law and policies.
Last month, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had issued notices to e-commerce majors such as Flipkart and Amazon for not displaying mandatory information, including the country of origin, about products.
The ministry had also asked states to ensure that all e-commerce firms comply with the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules.
The penalty has been imposed on Amazon as its reply to the notice was not found satisfactory, as per the order issued by the ministry dated November 19.
As per law, Amazon has been fined Rs 25,000 per directory for the first offence, a senior official of the ministry informed The Tribune. However, Flipkart has not been fined, the official added.
CAIT says monetary penalty is insignificant
The trader's body said that the small monetary penalty had no significance at all and therefore, a seven-day ban should be imposed on Amazon and other big e-commerce companies, who are continuously offending the law and policies.
"Let there be an exemplary punishment," said CAIT.
"The punishment should be equal to the damage caused by them on our economy and it should have reflected a clear message to the foreign e-commerce players that anyone disobeying the law of the land," they said in an interview with CNBCTV18.
In the notice issued last month, the consumer affairs ministry had said, "It has been brought into notice that some of the ecommerce entities are not displaying the mandatory declaration on digital platforms required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011."
In similarly worded notices, the ministry had said Flipkart India Pvt Ltd and Amazon Development Centre India Pvt Ltd have to ensure that all mandatory declarations are displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions.
Over the past months, e-commerce and food delivery firms have had several meetings with the consumer affairs department as well as officials from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), regarding the addition of 'country of origin' tag to online product listings.
The DPIIT had said that the government had directed e-commerce firms to comply with this requirement by September 30.
Initially, the government was keen on August 1 deadline, but the move was opposed by retailers. E-commerce firms such as Flipkart wrote to the government that they will need at least six months to finish the process.
In July, the High Court of Delhi has also issued notices to Amazon and Flipkart on a plea seeking to display the names of the manufacturing countries for products on their websites.