Centre to look into complaints against Flipkart sale

Our Bureau PTI New Delhi | Updated on October 08, 2014

Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister

Sachin Bansal, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flipkart. Photo:Mohammed Yousuf

Will examine the need for separate policy on e-commerce, says Nirmala Sitharaman

The Centre will look into the need for a separate policy on e-commerce and take a call on clarifying existing rules. This follows the spate of complaints it received from brick-and-mortar retail traders on Flipkart’s recent online discount sale.

“There are many complaints (on Flipkart’s sale). We will study the matter. Whether there is a need for a separate policy or some kind of clarification, we will make it clear soon,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is also the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said at an event on Wednesday.

Steep discounts

Flipkart, one of India’s largest e-commerce companies, did business worth $100 million on Monday, offering steep discounts on a range of products.

This has led to discontent among traditional retailers, who say their business is being affected by such online sales.

Questions have also been raised on many e-commerce companies not paying indirect taxes such as VAT on the ground that they operate on a ‘marketplace’ model and do not own the goods they sell.

No Nokia, again

On Nokia’s decision to suspend production at its plant in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, Sitharaman said her Ministry would look into the issue. “We will certainly see how (such) matters don’t occur again,” she said.

The Minister said the structure for social welfare spending under the new companies law was “absolutely well drafted,” allowing corporates to spend on CSR without any ambiguity.

CSR spends

Under the Companies Act, 2013, corporates with a ₹5-crore net profit or ₹1,000-crore turnover or ₹500-crore net worth need to spend 2 per cent of their three-year average annual net profit on CSR activities in each financial year, with effect from 2014-15 fiscal year.

Published on October 08, 2014

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