Business Standard

Budget '18: E-commerce sector hopeful of corporate tax reduction


ANI New Delhi [India]
With the presentation day of the Union Budget inching closer, the Indian e-commerce sector are hopeful of a reduction in corporate tax to provide them a much-needed impetus and tax relief.
Additionally, a section of the industry is also looking forward to greater capital inflow for Digital India, which has significantly slowed down.
Here are some expectations from the sector, ahead of this year's Union Budget:
"We expect a forward-looking Budget that comes good on reducing corporate tax rates to 25 percent, and effects administrative and tax reforms suggested by Easwar Committee - this will go a long way in ease of doing business in the country. Although the government has released clarification for application of taxes on declared tariff, we expect the concept of declared tariff to be replaced with actual tariff as consideration for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on hotel accommodation. The government has executed strong fiscal discipline in the last few years while enabling more startups and jobs through Skill India. We are hopeful that this momentum continues and there's ample availability of skilled talent in the country not only for us but every company that has both online and offline presence," said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO.
"The capital inflow for Digital India has significantly slowed down in 2016 and 2017, if you exclude the top 5 investments each year. So, with this budget, I would like to see specific measures undertaken by the Government to promote start-ups, entrepreneurship and Digital India. I truly hope the cost of capital in this country goes down, the capital becomes more accessible, there is no capital gain tax on start-up exits, there is no dividend taxes on start-ups, and an Indian incorporated company can list outside of India without having to be listed in India after an IPO. I also hope that the government significantly improves Internet infrastructure with high speed internet, low cost data plans and less choppiness in mobile Internet. I would also like government to have a higher sensitivity around level playing for home grown companies and local entrepreneurs versus foreign digital /Internet companies," said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom.
"The Union Budget for 2018-19 must announce robust incentive plans for women so that they can harness the potential of new digital technologies and evolve a large ecosystem of entrepreneurs. Comprising nearly half of the population, women can bring about a transformational change by contributing to innovation, inclusive development and nation building. Access to sanitary products should be advocated by the government. The GST on sanitary napkins should be revoked. We need to allocate more funds towards Nirbhaya funds for women's safety. More so, they need to be used in the right direction. The government should focus on creating more and sustainable job opportunities for women," said Upasana Taku, co-founder, MobiKwik.
"The Indian government is taking great strides forward in digitising the entire country with its Digital India movement. That opens a very big opportunity for businesses to go online and sell. We continue to look forward to further initiatives in the Union Budget that will truly give startups and entrepreneurs a fillip in growing their businesses and taking them online. The country has a great potential to foster a startup environment and with the right initiatives and incentives, can indeed go a long way in encouraging millions of talented individuals to succeed," said Anurag Avula, co-founder and CEO, Shopmatic.
On a related note, the Union Budget will be presented on February 1.
This will be the last full-fledged budget to be presented by the Narendra Modi-led government, and the first one post the rollout of the GST.

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 7:05 PM IST

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