Liberalise sourcing for e-commerce, industry bodies urge government

New Delhi : Aiming to take e-commerce industry to the next level, industry associations have urged the government to liberalise inventory-led business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce business, which will lead to growth of local manufacturing and in turn further boost the Make in India programme in the country.

This will help the e-commerce companies to source in bulk from the local manufacturers and avail of their benefits in inventory and supply chain practices.

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“Over the last 2-3 years, the e-commerce sector has contributed the maximum growth and manufacturing, especially SMEs in the country have been the direct beneficiaries of this growth trajectory.

“This is the case when only half of the sector (B2B) is allowed to operate freely. In the scenario of the entire sector (both B2B and B2C) being liberalized, the e-commerce industry would become one of the transforming agents for local manufacturing in the country,” said Bikky Khosla, chairman, e-commerce Committee, ASSOCHAM.

By enabling e-commerce companies with foreign investments to source directly from the local manufacturers, the latter would be able to benefit from global inventory technology and supply chain practices, he said.

The associations are attempting to meet both finance minister and commerce minister next week. Around one-and-a-half month back, ASSOCHAM sent a petition to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well.

“In a short period of time e-commerce has proved its ability to stimulate local manufacturing especially amongst SMEs/MSMEs. This can gain further traction if the government liberalises the sector by enabling inventory led e-commerce. The e-commerce companies would be able to source in bulk from the local manufacturers and avail of their benefits in inventory and supply chain practices,” Nasir Jamal, secretary general, e-commerce Association of India (ECAI) said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Make in India is one of the most ambitious programmes of the new government to promote local manufacturing in the country.

“E-commerce is spurring the growth of small industries in the country and with the right impetus given by the Make in India campaign, it could further transform the development of manufacturing by small and medium enterprises in the country,” Anupam Gupta, convener – IT, All India MSME Association, said.