Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos promised to create an additional 10 lakh jobs across India by 2025 despite his strained ties with the Modi government over the critical coverage of Citizenship Amendment Act in Washington Post, which called it “discriminatory” in a recent editorial. Washington Post is owned by Bezos.
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said Amazon hasn’t done India any big favours by announcing the new $1 billion investment.
“They may have put in a billion dollars but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars,” Goyal told a security conference in New Delhi.
“So it’s not as if they are doing a great favour to India when they invest a billion dollars,” he said.
About a month ago, PM Modi’s office turned down a request for a meeting from Bezos during his visit, sources told NDTV.
“We will use Amazon’s global footprint to enable US$10 billion in exports of Indian products to the rest of the world by 2025. Our investments in India will create an additional 1 million jobs across the country by 2025,” he said in a letter posted on Amazon.in.
“I fall more in love with India every time I return here. The boundless energy, innovation, and grit of the Indian people always inspire me,” the American billionaire added.
Bezos had earlier pledged to invest $1 billion to digitize micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India.
Amazon and its rival Flipkart, now owned by American retailer Walmart, are facing criticism from India’s retailers, which accuse the US giants of violating the law and discriminating against small sellers.
The announcements of investments and jobs have come amidst India’s worst slowdown in decades and concerns over rising unemployment.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.7 per cent in December from 7 per cent a year earlier, data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, showed.
Here is the full text of Jeff Bezos’ letter: