E-commerce definition too wide in GST dispensation as it may cover commodity exchanges: Assocham

Assocham says e-commerce definition could go well beyond Amazon or Flipkart marketplace platforms and may even cover the commodity exchanges

PTI April 17, 2017 11:41:38 IST
E-commerce definition too wide in GST dispensation as it may cover commodity exchanges: Assocham

New Delhi: The government must clearly outline the scope of 'e-commerce' under the GST, as the current definition can include even commodity derivatives exchanges where there is no actual delivery of goods, an industry body has said.

The term 'e-commerce' may get misinterpreted in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, industry chamber Assocham said.

"E-commerce definition, as given in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) dispensation, has been left so wide that it could go well beyond Amazon or Flipkart marketplace platforms and may even cover the commodity exchanges," it said.

Ecommerce definition too wide in GST dispensation as it may cover commodity exchanges Assocham

Reuters

The chamber has sought clarity from government to remove uncertainty among businesses as the law is set for a rollout either in July or September.

"The scope of the term 'electronic commerce' is very wide and does not restrict itself to cover electronic marketplace service providers like Amazon, Flipkart.

"It covers all businesses where the supply of goods /services is through a digital or electronic network," Assocham said in a communication to concerned ministries.

There are possibilities of unwarranted interpretations as futures and commodity exchanges may get treated as electronic marketplaces even though derivatives trading means no delivery of actual goods, it said.

"In our opinion such an interpretation will not be in consonance with the object and intent of special provisions for the electronic commerce business. There are distinguishing legal and operational factors between e-commerce operators and commodity exchanges," the industry body said.

"The commodities exchanges cannot be treated as electronic commerce operator in their legal capacity as well as in common parlance."

It has also sought clarity on treatment of goods and services under GST for exports, gems and jewellery, MSME sector, banking and telecom.

"The Assocham would like a seamless and flawless roll out of the GST to infuse a sense of confidence among the consumers, trade and industry. Eventually, the GST should become a showpiece of our reforms,” its Secretary General D S Rawat said in the statement.

The Central GST, one of the components of the law, is silent on exemptions provided on interest on loans.

"The exemption under services tax, which exempts interest, should be replicated under GST," it said.

GST is unification of multiple indirect taxes into a single law, hence, it is presumed current exemption would be continued for banking and other financial institution including non-banking financial company as these exemptions creates the basic foundation for taxing services provided by them, it added.

Updated Date:

also read

Amazon Prime Day Sale 2021: Best deals on Echo, Fire TV, Kindle devices and more
News & Analysis

Amazon Prime Day Sale 2021: Best deals on Echo, Fire TV, Kindle devices and more

The Echo Dot 3rd Gen will be available at a price of Rs 1,499 with select Smart TVs and ACs during the Prime Day sale.

In Brad Stone's book Amazon Unbound, critical perspectives on the transformation of Amazon, and Jeff Bezos
News & Analysis

In Brad Stone's book Amazon Unbound, critical perspectives on the transformation of Amazon, and Jeff Bezos

Brad Stone’s Amazon Unbound is not just a sequel to The Everything Store which he wrote in 2013, but also a thorough look at just how Bezos was able to keep the innovation engine as well as the cash coffers at Amazon on an ascending curve.

Flipkart Electronics sale: Best deals on Galaxy F62, iPhone XR, Realme X3 Super Zoom and more
News & Analysis

Flipkart Electronics sale: Best deals on Galaxy F62, iPhone XR, Realme X3 Super Zoom and more

During the sale, buyers will get an instant discount of 10 percent on Axis Bank credit and debit cards.