New Delhi: Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking certainty and predictability in India’s business environment, people familiar with the matter said.
McMillon also highlighted Walmart’s commitment to India, including investments to empower small and medium enterprises, global sourcing from the country and job creation. He also praised Modi for India’s improvement in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking.
PM Modi and the Walmart Chief Executive met on September 25 during the former’s visit to the US.
The letter comes at a time when a body of small traders, which has been accusing Flipkart and Amazon of “unfair business practices” and violation of FDI rules, has stepped up its opposition against the foreign-owned marketplaces, blaming predatory pricing by the two companies for a slump in the businesses of traditional retail during the ongoing Diwali season.
On Monday, the Confederation of All India Traders claimed that Amazon and Flipkart together generated total business worth Rs 19,000 crore in their four-day mega sales events earlier this month.
Last week, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said the government was probing Flipkart and Amazon for any predatory pricing.
Last year, Walmart India said it would invest about $500 million to open another 47 stores by 2022. Walmart India’s business is membership-based and counts more than one million members, the majority of whom are small resellers and kiranas (mom-and-pop stores). The retailer already sources a bulk of items from smallholder farmers and regional suppliers. It’s been in India since 2009.