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New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has opposed any extension — as sought by some etailers — of the February 1 deadline for updated norms on foreign investment in ecommerce. It has also sought clarity on whether such players can sell private labels or brands.

In a letter to industry secretary Ramesh Abhishek on Sunday, CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said stipulating a date for implementation of policy is an error on the part of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion as Press Note 2, issued last month, is only a clarification. “Since the (ecommerce FDI) policy is already being implemented from 2016, the question of extension doesn’t arise,” he said, cautioning the government against giving in to any such “malicious agenda.”

Press Note 2 bars any entity related to an ecommerce platform from selling on that site, limits how much one vendor can sell there and prohibits etailers from preferential treatment to any supplier. On January 3, DIPP clarified that private labels of online platforms will not suffer with updated norms. Terming this a “loophole,” Khandelwal said, “Permitting private labels runs contrary to the intention of providing a level playing field with fair competition.”

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