Government silence on e-commerce and the GST annoys merchants

Jamshedpur: The continued arbitrariness and violation of rules and laws by foreign-funded e-commerce companies in the country’s e-commerce and the growing complexity of the GST haunt the trading community and have brought domestic commerce to the crossroads of ruin and bankruptcy. Even after repeated representations, central and state governments have failed to take appropriate action and are silent on these issues, which has sparked the ire of traders across the country. Deeply aggrieved by this attitude, the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT), while expressing the adoption of a zero tolerance policy by the trading community, announced the launch of a nationwide protest campaign on fundamental issues of the business community, including e-commerce and GST, the strategy to be finalized at a two-day “National Trader Conference” convened by CAIT on January 11-12, 2022. About 100 executives prominent businessmen of all states and nationals or prominent business leaders of all states in Kanpur, the industrial capital of Uttar Pradesh.

National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal and National Secretary of Suresh Sonthalia said it appears that the country’s central and state governments have succumbed to foreign e-commerce companies. Union Trade Minister Shri Piyush Goyal has spared no effort to warn e-commerce companies while addressing various national and international forums over the past two years. For now, the country is still waiting for the law to work and for action to be taken. Continued non-compliance with rules and regulations by e-commerce companies, unlimited sale of marijuana and other prohibited items on the e-commerce platform, dodging central and state governments with GST revenues, no action taken ‘was still taken, even after the evidence provided by CAIT. Total silence has been kept by governments which corroborate that there is domestic or foreign pressure on governments to give these companies carte blanche to openly violate and exploit the laws of India and in a situation like this. Here the saying that “Rome burns and Nero plays the flute” seems to suit everyone at all levels.

Khandelwal and Sonthalia said the current form of GST is very complex and unlike the structure of GST that was explained to CAIT by then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2017 as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it’s very unfortunate. that the current structure of the GST is highly contradictory to the said announcement. After Mr Jaitley passed away, the GST Council stopped consulting traders and made arbitrary decisions that did not reflect the realities of the trade. The structure of the GST is severely deformed and exhibits various anomalies. The proposal to increase the GST tax rates on textiles and footwear is one example.

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