May 10: The Flipkart buy by Walmart may have made big news, but Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of the RSS, is least amused. The SJM has accused Walmart of making a back-door entry into the Indian market by acquiring majority stake in the Indian e-commerce giant. Walmart had completed the acquisition of Flipkart by purchasing stake worth $16billion, valuing Flipkart at over $20billion.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, SJM said that the US retail giant was circumventing rules for making the back-door entry into the national retail space. SJM also sought the intervention of the prime minister to safeguard the national interest.
SJM claimed in its letter that Walmart was using e-commerce route to bend the existing rules, citing foreign companies were barred in multi-brand retail as per the rules. SJM also raised the concern of small and medium business getting eliminated with the move. SJM urged that the interest of those at the bottom of the pyramid in retail and agriculture space must be safeguarded.
“Most of these small entrepreneurs are already battling for their existence; entry of Walmart will further create problems for them,” SJM’s co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan has been quoted as saying in the letter. He also raised apprehensions over allowing Walmart to raise funds and transfer assets, saying that it poses a serious threat.
A copy of the letter was also dispatched to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is said to have given the assurance the outfit of looking into the matter. The letter also threw light over the import of Chinese goods by Walmart, adding that the retail giant was one among the largest importers of China goods. Mahajan said that this would lead way to the deterioration of ‘Make in India’ policy adopted by the Government of India.
Mahajan also brought Flipkart under the suspicion radar by saying that Flipkart and its group of companies haven’t filed their statement of accounts for the year 2016-2017 and 2015-2016. He also said that only partial disclosures were made by the company for the said years.