Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
HomeIndiaTraders’ body opposes health ministry ad encouraging online shopping, demands its withdrawal

Traders’ body opposes health ministry ad encouraging online shopping, demands its withdrawal

Confederation of All India Traders has said ad encouraging online shopping to avoid Covid infection is against more than 8 cr small businesses & can be seen as promoting global online companies.

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New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Wednesday, registering their objection to an advertisement campaign launched by the health ministry urging people to shop online to protect themselves from getting infected amid the Covid pandemic.

The advertisement had been shared by the Ministry of Health’s official Twitter handle.

“We have sent a letter to the health minister to register our objection to a particular advertisement. We have urged him to immediately withdraw the said advertisement and suspend its promotion any further,” said CAIT secretary general, Praveen Khandelwal.

In the letter — a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint — the traders’ body has said that the advertisement campaign is “grossly against more than 8 crore small businesses of the country who are rendering yeomen services at the time of need of the nation and contravenes the fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India which prohibits any discrimination”.

The organisation has further said that “the current online business of India is highly vitiated and captivated by foreign-funded e-commerce companies, which have left no stone unturned in disobeying the laws and the rules of the country and abusing the dominance”.

“We invoke your kind and immediate attention towards a continued advertisement campaign primarily on social media, including Twitter, relating to promoting people to buy online in order to protect from Covid… we call upon you to immediately withdraw the said advertisement and suspend its promotion any further,” stated the letter to the health minister.

Also read: Stringent draft e-commerce rules are not in best interest of consumers, survey finds

‘Viewed as support of global e-commerce companies’

In the letter, the CAIT has also argued that the campaign will be viewed as “a vital support and empowering the global e-commerce companies to continue with their unhealthy and manipulative business practices, much to the disadvantage of not only the traders but the end consumers as well”.

The body also alleged that while drafting the campaign, these “burning issues” (mentioned above) were ignored.

“Such a move by the Health Ministry is highly derogatory, proved to be much disastrous to the offline business community and an attempt to discourage the retailers of the country. The offline traders who stood firmly with the government at the time of Covid, both last year and this year, have been grossly ignored and neglected by the officials who designed the campaign,” the letter stated.

CAIT, which has been critical of the functioning of online companies for a while now  — including Amazon — said that at a time when a controversy has been created about e-commerce business in India and “several statements have been made by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal at various national and international forums about mandated compliance of the laws and rules falling on deaf ears by major e-tailers who are controlling the e-commerce business, the campaign of health ministry asking people to buy goods from online is an unwanted, uncalled for and highly discriminatory campaign, which rejects the contribution of offline traders in national economy and who have been regarded as the backbone of the economy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Overhaul regulation of E-marketplaces. Small sellers have stake in platform economy growth too


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