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E-commerce firms to seek review of GST clause

Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have come together to raise concerns over the goods and services tax (GST) hurting their business.

The founders of Flipkart and Snapdeal, Sachin Bansal and Kunal Bahl, will join Amit Agarwal, India head of Amazon, to represent to the government their concerns about the GST.

They have sought help of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in this effort. Other Internet firms that will be party to the representation include Paytm, Grofers and Zomato.

“We told the e-commerce players if they wanted to use our platform to voice their concerns they would have to come out as a united front,” said a FICCI functionary. Sources said consultancy firm KPMG would draft the appeal, a presentation of which would be made public on Thursday.

“According to the GST, we will have to collect tax from every seller on our platform and submit it to the government. This will sound the death knell for our business. We hope that the representation helps us and the government finds a better solution,” said an executive with an e-commerce firm.

Company representatives along with FICCI members will meet officials at an unspecified date. “In all probability, there will be separate meetings with officials in the finance ministry and the Niti Aayog,” said another executive with an e-commerce company.

“Tax collection at source is not there for any other sector, why only for e-commerce? This will disrupt the relationship between sellers and e-commerce companies,” an analyst said.

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