| MUMBAI, July 10
MUMBAI, July 10 India on Thursday proposed
allowing foreign retailers, who manufacture products in the
country, to sell via e-commerce platforms, a step towards
liberalising foreign investment in the country's $13 billion
The move is likely to benefit the local units of retailers
such as Marks & Spencer Group Plc, Nike Inc,
Puma SE and Benetton Group Spa among others, who
currently sell online in India through local franchisees or
The proposal, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as
part of his federal budget for the fiscal year through March
2015, will also end the ambiguity around who can sell their
products using online platforms, industry consultants said.
Jaitley in his budget speech said manufacturing units will
be allowed to sell products through retail channels, including
e-commerce platforms, without any additional approvals. India
allows 100 percent foreign investment in manufacturing barring a
few areas such as defence.
"The move to relax FDI rules in e-commerce for manufactured
goods by foreign retailers is a very important step in helping
the e-commerce industry grow," said Paresh Parekh, tax partner
for retail and consumer products at consultancy EY.
Reuters last month reported India could allow global online
retailers such as Amazon.com Inc to sell their own
products as early as July, removing restrictions that have held
back competition in one of the world's biggest, and most
price-sensitive, retail markets.
Small Indian traders have organised a protest rally against
the possible impact of such a decision on the livelihoods of
small "bricks and mortar" retailers.
(Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and David Holmes)