The burgeoning e-commerce sector in India, which is witnessing an upswing and fierce competition with more and more start-ups entering into the fray to have their own piece of pie, can breathe easier now as the Centre has clarified that there was no proposal to introduce a separate regulatory framework for the sector.
The Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha who was answering to a question in the Rajya Sabha, said: "At present, we don’t have any proposal under consideration for a separate regulatory mechanism for e-commerce sector".
There has been a hue and cry among small players in the brick-and-mortar and e-commerce business sections about deep discounts offered by some big players which, they claimed, were eating away their business. Recently, a few leading online shopping sites, which created flutters among small businessesdue to their ‘deep discount business’, came under the scanner of CCI and Enforcement Directorate.
One of the strong voices which demanded for strict monitoring and regulating online businesses was Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
On the alleged anti-competitive conduct, the minister said caseswere registered against a few e-commerce companies at the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The minister also said that with reference to any service tax liability, these e-commerce companies were being subjected to frequent scrutiny and monitoring.
"E-commerce companies are liable for paying income tax like any other firm engaged in business transactions. The cases picked up for scrutiny by the income tax department during a particular year may also include e-commerce companies if these fall within the ambit of scrutiny selection criteria for that year," a PTI report, quoting the minister, said.