• Sellers seek regulatory body for online marketplaces

    The All India Online Vendors’ Association (AIOVA), a lobby group of sellers on online marketplaces, urged the government to set up a regulatory body for ecommerce. They also requested to resolve certain taxation issues faced by them during a meeting with Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance. According to the seller body, online vendors end up paying taxes on commission charged by marketplaces and courier charges in the form of value added tax and service tax. They requested relaxation in these taxes.

    “We are paying tax on sale value and on expenses such as commission, courier and other services which is approximately 25-30% of the cost of sales. Hence we are facing double-taxation. Reducing those taxes will reduce our cost of sales,” said the spokesperson of the online vendors’ association.

    The representatives of 1,000 medium and large sellers also complained about “mismanagement by marketplace executives and lack of interest in solving the problems with mutual consultation”. The group requested the need for setting up a regulatory body for ecommerce in order to take up issues pertaining to the sector in the lines of those for telecom, insurance and markets.

    A letter presented to the minister requested: “Safeguard the interest of stakeholders, make marketplace accountable to a regulator, and take seller association in consultation while bringing in policies related to ecommerce marketplaces.” According to the online vendors’ association spokesperson, on issues that weren’t related to the finance ministry, the minister directed them to the concerned departments. Tyus Bowser Jersey

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