Scope of e-commerce very wide in GST: ASSOCHAM

April 18, 2017 - India

The scope of the e-commerce definition as given in the goods and services dispensation has been left so wide that it could go well beyond Amazon or Flipkart marketplace platforms and may even cover the commodity exchanges, ASSOCHAM has said. The body seeks clarity from the government to remove uncertainty among businesses, as the GST is set for a roll out.

"The scope of the terms 'electronic commerce' is very wide and does not restrict itself to cover electronic marketplace service providers like Amazon and Flipkart. It covers all businesses where the supply of goods/services is through a digital or electronic network," the ASSOCHAM said in communications to different concerned ministries.

The association said since the term 'e-commerce' covers all businesses where the supply of goods/services is through a digital or electronic network, there is a possibility of 'unwarranted interpretations' which may lead to future and commodity exchanges being treated as an electronic commerce operator in respect of commodity derivatives which result in actual delivery of the goods.

"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 commodities exchanges cannot be treated as electronic commerce operator in their legal capacity as well as in common parlance," the chamber pointed out.

"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," said DS Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM.

Rawat said the chamber, is doing its bit to reach out to the stakeholders and holding a large number of workshops and training seminars for the industry and trade in different parts of the country. (KD)