Amid its call for a “Bharat Vyapar Bandh” on 26th February,2021 on issues pertaining to complicated GST taxation system and vitiated e-commerce market, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has today sent a communication to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi seeking his immediate intervention to simplify GST taxation system and streamlining the e-commerce rules & policies to save the domestic trade from the clutches of mal-practices of big e-commerce companies. The CAIT has also appealed to the Prime Minister Shri Modi to break the unholy nexus between Banks and e-commerce companies who are co-partners in violation of the law & policy of the Government.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal recalled their discussion with Late Shri Arun Jaitley prior to implementation of GST who emphatically said that the GST would end all woes and sufferings of the traders and under GST, the traders would be required only once to upload their sales statements on GST portal and rest of the things would be auto populated by the GST portal to facilitate the traders to comply with the law in a most easiest manner and would give them sufficient time to focus on growth of their businesses. They said that much against the public announcements on GST , the GST Council has made the GST as the most complicated tax system which runs contrary to “ease of doing business” mandate of the Government. The CAIT has also alleged that while making amendments in GST rules, mission statement of PM Modi for ” Minimum Government-Maximum Governance” has been highly violated by giving arbitrary and unfettered powers to the Authorities to the extent that issuance of show cause notice and opportunity of hearing has been denied before taking any action against alleged offence by traders. Prescribing various huge penalties even for a small error has brought ‘tax terrorism’ in the Country and discouragement to honest tax collectors.Though the GST Council has revised GST rules hundred of times but not even a single opportunity is given traders to revise the GST returns. The difference between ” error” and “evasion” needs to be defined and spelled out very clearly and without any ambiguity.
Both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that exemplary punishment should be given to tax evaders and people indulging in fake invoices. Such people are a cause of threat to businesses of honest traders who are complying the law.” The current tax base under GST and accrued revenue is highly underrated and there is much potential for at least making the current figure of GST and revenue to its double in numbers in a short span of time”-said the trade leaders but is achievable only when the GST tax system is simplified & rationalized to the extent that even a small trader in any remote area can comply the laws and rules in a very easy manner without depending upon Chartered Accountants, Tax Practitioners or tax consultants with a mass scale awareness program across the Country.
Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal suggested formation of “special working group” at the Central level consisting of senior officials and representatives of CAIT and independent Tax experts to review the GST Tax structure and make recommendations to the Government for making it a ” Good & Simple Tax”. system. and” District GST working Group” of senior tax officials and representatives of CAIT in each District to monitor smooth GST implementation and taking steps for widening of tax base and augmentation of revenue in respective Districts across the Country.
Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal while accusing big giants for greatly vitiating e-commerce market by continuously and openly violating the FDI policy, law and Rules without any fear of law by indulging into predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, controlling inventory, sale of branded products exclusively on their respective portals which are specifically restricted Press Note 2 of FDI policy of the Government. These companies have resorted to innovative but a clandestine structure to violate the policy and are trying to become the second edition of the East India Company. Both trade leaders appreciated various steps taken by Commerce Minister Shri Piyush Goyal who has not only warned such companies to stop playing with the rules but has also taken various steps to ensure that law prevails. However, these e-commerce giants have no regard and respect for the laws of the Country. It is most regrettable that several Government & Private sector Banks are colluding with these e-commerce giants and helping them to create an uneven level playing field much against the intention and policy of the Government.
Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that these e-commerce companies have found various escape routes in Press Note No.2 of the FDI Policy and therefore, a fresh Press note blocking all escape routes and abolishing all such provisions that may prompt these companies to violate the rules or policies should be prepared. Commerce Minister Shri Piyush Goyal has led the call for drafting the said Press Note which should be released immediately. They also stressed the need for the formation of a Regulatory Authority to regulate and monitor the e-commerce trade duly empowered with the right to take penal action against offenders and a robust e-commerce policy defining parameters for e-commerce business for structured growth of e-commerce vertical in the Country.