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Budget silent on e-commerce

Measures proposed on taxation or start-ups may benefit online retailers, but there were no sector-specific measures for the sector

Itika Sharma Punit  |  Bengaluru 

The sector failed to find a place in the for 2015-16.

Measures proposed on taxation or start-ups may benefit online retailers, but there were no sector-specific measures for the sector. Sectors that made it to the over were leather footwear, which received a reduction in excise duty; incense sticks, which received some exemptions from excise duty; yoga, which was included in the ambit of charitable purpose; and gutkha, which saw an increase in excise.
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“The was mostly silent on e-commerce,” said Dinesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive officer of

“There was no clarity over tax on transactions across states.”

The closest that came to mentioning the industry was when he spoke about startups and the need to nurture them. However, experts believe even the measures that were announced for startups were unlikely to be of much relevance to online retailers.

Several large online retailers said they did not have “much to say about the budget”. “We looked at the really closely, and there was nothing for the sector,” said an executive of a prominent e-tailer requesting anonymity.

The one announcement that brought cheer to e-tailers was the government's commitment to rolling out the goods and services tax (GST) from April 1, 2016. This will bring some respite to an industry that has been battling archaic tax laws.

“The assurance to speed up is a welcome announcement for the industry as it will boost the country's manufacturing competitiveness,” said Radhika Aggarwal·, co-founder and chief marketing officer at ShopClues. “The has reinforced the government's progressive and liberal stance that will fuel growth and global investors' sentiment for In··dia.”

Aggarwal, however, added the decision to raise the service tax to 14 per cent could be a damper for Some experts raised concerns over the fact that the rollout had been delayed by several years.

First Published: Tue, March 03 2015. 00:33 IST
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