From the upcoming Budget, my primary expectation is more tax clarifications for India's e-commerce industry. Currently, e-commerce companies, including ours, are grappling with several tax issues such as multiple interpretations of taxes and double taxation, which will hopefully be taken care of soon. Like all other players in the industry, we are also looking forward to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). If VAT and sales tax are abolished for online retailers, it will be a real shot in the arm for e-commerce as a whole.
We are also looking forward to tax incentives that will promote investment in technology and logistics, and up the ante for the sector in India. Logistics can play a very pivotal part in e-commerce as it can help companies deliver faster and with greater efficiency. The results of a boost in this realm can produce almost revolutionary effects, which will benefit both businesses and consumers.
Besides this, FDI in retail will be a welcome move for the industry as a whole. If global retailers make their way into India, they will be able to push indigenous businesses to unprecedented levels with their domain knowledge and formidable supply chain efficiencies. It is also likely that if bigger international players do enter the Indian market, they will make strategic investments in smaller online retailers, which will again be a huge fillip to the ecosystem and will provide greater choice to consumers.
We also wish for more emphasis on the Digital Literacy Programme. Not only will this help in augmenting the digital skills of a large section of the populace, it will also result in a greater number of future online shoppers. It will create a base of customers who are equipped with sound technological knowledge and are aware of the benefits that e-shopping can offer.
The author is Co-founder & CMO, Shopclues.com