DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek asserting that FDI will not be allowed in B2C e-commerce ventures that keep inventory is supposed to (1) assuage the (2) apprehensions of bricks-and-mortar retailers, but will do nothing of the sort since it is just (3) sophistry. Large players like Amazon and Flipkart—even before Walmart bought into it—are funded by FDI, and it matters little that they don’t hold inventory but are what is called a ‘marketplace’. Technically, the inventory stored in their warehouses belong to other sellers, but the e-commerce retailers control the activity on their respective marketplaces via the bulk purchases made by their associate companies, for instance a Cloudtail or a WS Retail. What bricks-and-mortar retailers should be fighting for is a liberal FDI policy for multi-brand retail, one that allows 100% FDI as in the case of single-brand retail, and without the numerous (4) caveats that have been tagged on. That then will give them the (5) ammunition to fight their e-commerce peers.
Again, it is hard to understand what the DIPP secretary means when he says e-commerce should be driven by efficiency and not discounts. And surely the government must realize there is little point in (6) clamping down on discounts because the players will always find a way around it, as the CCI observed; indeed, even as the government publicly (7) rails against such deep discounting, it has done nothing to check this in the four years it has been in power. Why shouldn’t consumers get the best deal if producers are willing to give them one? Shouldn’t the government be batting for consumers? Instead of rolling out a liberal policy that will help retailers of all hues flourish and, in the bargain, fetch the country some chunky FDI flows, the government proposes to bring in restrictive clauses, among them one that will disallow bulk buying by sellers.
The draft e-commerce policy (8) reeks of retrograde measures that run counter to established fair play and equity. If the government is attempting to (9) drum up support from local businessmen by promising to ensure they retain control of their businesses even if the foreign investors have a bigger shareholding, this will be struck down by the courts since this is antithetical to corporate democracy where shareholder rights are proportionate to their equity share. The draft policy states the government wants to (10) spur “digital innovation by providing a facilitative eco-system”, but too many controls will only put off investors and kill innovation.
1. ASSUAGE (verb) मृदु करना
Meaning: make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense.
Synonyms: relieve, ease, alleviate, soothe, mitigate, dampen, allay, calm, palliate, abate, lull, temper, suppress, smother, stifle, subdue, tranquillize, mollify, moderate, lessen, diminish.
Antonyms: harm, hurt, impair, injure, heighten, intensify, sharpen, aggravate, exacerbate.
2. APPREHENSION (noun) शंका
Meaning: anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.
Synonyms: anxiety, angst, uneasiness, nervousness, disquiet, concern, agitation, restlessness, edginess, fidgetiness, trepidation, perturbation, consternation, foreboding.
Antonyms: calmness, content, contentment, easiness, peacefulness, placidity, quietude, sereneness, serenity, tranquility, consolation, solace.
3. SOPHISTRY (noun) कुटतार्किकता
Meaning: a fallacious argument.
Synonyms: sophism, fallacy, quibble, paralogism, equivocation, chicanery, misconception, perversion, speciousness, evasion.
Antonyms: naivety, artlessness, crudeness, gullibility, honesty, guilelessness.
4. CAVEAT (noun) प्रतिवाद
Meaning: a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.
Synonyms: warning, caution, admonition, monition, proviso, stipulation, provision, clause, rider, restriction, reservation, limitation.
Antonyms: consonance, delinquency, avoidance, ignorance, approval, concurrence, agreement, annulment, abrogation, abolition, incaution, cancellation.
5. AMMUNITION (noun) अस्र-शस्र
Meaning: considerations that can be used to support one’s case in debate.
Synonyms: encouragement, armor, buckler, cover, defense, guard, protection, safeguard, security, shield, ward, armament, munitions.
Antonyms: aggression, assault, attack, offense (or offence), offensive.
6. CLAMP DOWN ON (phrasal verb) पर सख्त होना
Meaning: suppress or prevent something in an oppressive or harsh manner.
Synonyms: stop, stamp out, limit, restrain, restrict, check, quash, quell, squash, squelch, subdue.
Antonyms: abet, aid, assist, prop up, support, incite, instigate, provoke, stir, advance, cultivate, foster, further, nourish, nurture.
7. RAIL AGAINST (idiom) कोसना
Meaning: To protest, criticize, or vent angrily about someone or something
Usage: Employees has formed a picket line outside of the company as they rail against proposed cuts to their pay and pension schemes.
8. REEK OF (idiom) भाप देना
Meaning: to have a lot of or give the strong impression of something particularly unpleasant, offensive, or insidious.
Usage: The deal struck by the government and the corporate lobbying groups reeks of corruption.
9. DRUM UP (idiom) खींचना
Meaning: to obtain something by attracting people’s attention to one’s need or cause.
Usage: You shall have to drum up new business by advertising.
10. SPUR (verb) प्रोत्साहित करना
Meaning: to encourage an activity or development or make it happen faster.
Synonyms: goad, prod, chuck, jab, jog, knock, nudge, poke, bore, drill, perforate, pierce, prick, hale, propel.
Antonyms: deterrent, dissuade, disapprove, repress, check, block, hinder, curb, obstruct.