Bengaluru : Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has identified several Chinese sellers on Amazon’s India e-commerce platform who are not paying taxes that Indians have to on the same e-tailing site.
SJM national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said these Chinese sellers are evading taxes using the international gift route. Currently, four gifts under Rs 5,000 each per year per person are exempted from import duties. But some of the Chinese sellers are said to be marking every sale as a gift. Mahajan said the organisation is taking up the matter with the commerce ministry.
Mahajan told TOI that this is causing damage to domestic sellers. “It also sends a signal that the government is fine with losing import duty on these goods every year. We are going to recommend abolishing it,” a person aware of the plans said.
The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) too is working with SJM on the matter. TOI has seen an invoice of one of these sellers where there is no mention of any taxes being paid.
Amazon India has a global store for Indian users where products from its US site are sold, but typically all import taxes are included in the final pricing of these products. The Chinese sellers are not part of this global store, but are independently listed sellers on the Indian marketplace.
Sources in Amazon said, while the company has a strong compliance mechanism to ensure adherence to local laws, certain sellers find loopholes to derive unfair advantages. An Amazon India spokesperson said, “Amazon will always be compliant with local laws, have robust processes to ensure this and zero tolerance for any non-compliant seller. We continue to invest in systems and processes that ensure customers have access to high-quality selection and experience from sellers on Amazon.”
A meeting is expected to take place this week between SJM’s Mahajan, other trade associations and commerce minister Suresh Prabhu. The associations are expected to ask the government to do away with the gift policy.
Source : TOI