GUWAHATI, Oct 31 � In a major show of resentment over the alleged �predatory� pricing of the online retailers, the Assam Chamber of Commerce (ACC) along with Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) staged a dharna on GS Road today.
The ACC also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi through Kamrup(M) DC insisting on a probe into business modules of e-retailers, their pricing mechanism and funding structure, besides demanding a regulatory authority to regulate and monitor e-commerce business in India.
The ACC memorandum also called for constituting a �special task force� of taxation experts to examine the compliance of taxation obligations of e-retailers and to study whether there is any tax avoidance, and to constitute a joint committee of senior officials and stakeholders to study impact of online retail business on offline markets.
�We also demand a board of internal trade for development of business avenues in domestic trade and its empowerment and to upgrade and modernise the existing retail trade as well as to form a retail regulatory authority to regulate and monitor the domestic retail trade of India,� said the ACC.
The ACC further said that traditional retailers have incurred huge business losses because of the unhealthy business practiced by e-retailers.
�In normal scenario, traditional retailers go through a lot of process, documentation, taxes and various other formalities to sustain in business. But in case of online retailers, no such stringent law is visible,� the ACC pointed out adding that since there is no specified rules or regulations, the e-commerce business has become an open playground for everyone to play the game as per his whims and choice which is leading to a state of control and domination over the retail trade of India.
�There is loss to State revenues in terms of various taxes. The VAT is a destination-based taxation system and the consuming State is entitled for the revenue on the products consumed, whereas in e-retailers cases, they are registered in one State and making deliveries all over the country bypassing revenue entitlement of consuming State,� mentioned ACC.
The ACC has demanded a level playing field in terms of competition and has sought the immediate intervention of the government to frame a policy that ensures healthy business and effective monitoring.
The dharna programme was joined by many eminent personalities of the State along with more than 200 traders and activists of the State.
The dharna was part of the nationwide protest against online retailers.