An open letter to the Finance Minister from an Indian e-tailer
AdvertisementDear Finance Minister,
As a voice of the
We understand that your budget will table proposals in line with the path the government visualises for industry as a whole. We know that the Government is focusing on promoting eCommerce, innovation and entrepreneurship.
We are also aware that 2014 has been a defining year for eCommerce in India. Your Government, therefore has had the chance to see and appreciate its potential.
Six big areas that this budget could help the industry with are:
Building an aggressive roadmap for the National Digital Literacy Mission: eCommerce will be one of the many beneficiaries of the Digital Literacy Mission. Yet, genuine progress of any kind will be elusive if public-private partnerships do not move in this direction. 6.5 lakh villages adding up to over 147 million people, need to benefit serially from the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM). Whether this digital literacy is used to enable education, healthcare, citizen services, financial services, or any other basic need, technology and connectivity can make a huge difference to the socio-economic levels of a community. The budget can set forth the agenda to extend telecom infrastructure through initiatives like the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) and encourage the industry to be ready with solutions that can be rolled out using the NOFN. There can also be constructive frameworks to ensure scale and awareness to build acceptance, so that communities co-opt as stakeholders. Teachers, community leaders and grassroots organisations will serve as the bridge that reach out to those digitally excluded.
Tax Clarifications: eCommerce companies struggle with issues such as double taxation, multiple interpretations of taxes related to eCommerce. The industry is looking forward to implementation of GST. Furthermore, to boost the growth of eCommerce in India the industry believes the government should provide exemption from VAT and sales tax for online retailers. Clarification on
Data Centres and Cloud Services: Companies are also expecting tax incentives for building data centers and cloud services within the country. These technology infrastructures will not only provide better data security but should also reduce costs. If built properly, the infrastructure should also reduce speed latency associated with international data centers.
Integrated Solutions: From making commodity boards profitable, to access-to-market for handicrafts, to better packaging solutions for made-in-India produce, I see a lot of collaboration happening to make ecommerce a success in India. Facilitation of these objectives, via special purpose vehicles may expedite the optimisation and coordination between Ministries and Boards.
Over to you,
About the author: This article has been written by Ashish Jhalani,
Popular on BI
- Best smart washing machines to buy in India
- Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal asks employees to prepare for a funding winter that could last 24 months
- BMW i4 launched in India at starting price of ₹69.90 lakh — check out photos, specifications and features
- Heatwave and high commodity prices drag down March quarter and FY22 GDP estimates
- Germany to recognise Bharat Biotech’s 'Covaxin' from June 1