‘E-commerce term too wide in GST, may cover commodity exchanges’
New Delhi: Industry chamber Assocham on Sunday asked the government to clearly define the scope of e-commerce under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, as the current definition is wide enough to even cover commodity derivatives exchanges.
“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,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) said in a statement here.
“It covers all businesses where the supply of goods/services is through a digital or electronic network,” Assocham 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 commodities exchanges cannot be treated as electronic commerce operator in their legal capacity as well as in common parlance,” it added.
The industry organisation said it fears futures and commodity exchanges may get treated as electronic marketplaces even though derivatives trading means no delivery of actual goods.
In a communication addressed to various ministries, Assocham has also sought clarity on treatment of goods and services under GST for exports, gems and jewellery, micro, small and medium (MSME) sector, banking and telecom.
“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,” Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said in the statement.
The industry lobby noted that the Central GST 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 being a unification of multiple indirect taxes into a single law “it is presumed current exemption would be continued for banking and other financial institution, including non-banking financial company, as these exemptions create the basic foundation for taxing services provided by them,” it added.