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Amazon lobbying hard with US for FDI in retail in India

amazonWorld's largest e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc, which forayed into India last year with a country-specific online marketplace Amazon.in, is lobbying hard with the US government on a range of issues, including foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, according to a PTI report.

This development comes at a time when retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc has temporarily put a halt to its India-specific lobbying plans with the US government to urge India to open FDI in the country.

As per this report, which cited the latest lobbying disclosure reports filed with the US Senate, Amazon lobbied for the second straight quarter during the quarter ended March 31, 2014 on issues related to FDI rules in India.

In addition to matters related to FDI, the company also discussed issues relating to mobile payments, unmanned aerial vehicles, free trade agreements, high-skilled immigration, online wine sales, taxes and cyber security, with various government departments, including the US Senate, the US Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce, the Department of State and the US House of Representatives.

This is despite the clear opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail by BJP, the largest party in the opposition coalition which is expected to emerge as the winner in the ongoing general elections in the country.

Amazon.in has been looking to leverage the fast-growing online shoppers in India to grow its sales, since launch early last year. Last week, the firm entered the apparel category with the launch of ethnic and Indo-western wear.

Amazon is also piloting the concept of enlisting kirana stores as delivery points, which will help it overcome the problem of failed deliveries, a pain point for most e-tailers globally, making the last-mile logistics less complicated. For the same, the company has identified and trained staff at small kiosks and stores, run by individual entrepreneurs, to be its shipment pick-up points.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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