—-Sandhya Malhotra

New Delhi, May 29: In the first year of Narendra Modi’s government, there has been enhanced focused on IT-related projects– Digital India, Make in India, 100 Smart Cities project, National Supercomputing Mission and Cyber Security.

While the government has been taking active initiatives on local manufacturing, the IT channel community feels SME trading community must look for other avenues.

Sharing his views about the performance of the government, Saket Kapur, secretary, PCAIT commented, “We at PCAIT and on behalf of the IT fraternity wish to express our candid views, without being cagey and cautious. The challenges for IT channel have increased with Government’s decision to slap additional duty on IT products for importers and punitively helping the large brands currently into so called manufacturers of IT products. The eco-system fomenting predatory prices through subsidization by brand owners and business valuation hungry e-commerce platforms continues unabated in connivance with GOI. Rationalization of Tax structure and rescindment of archaic and Kafkaesque laws remains a distant dream.”

IT traders

Taking up the additional duty on IT products, Mumbai-based TAIT association is going to raise this issue with the central government. Pravin Dhoka, member of TAIT and FAIITA said, “Traders are unhappy with the additional duty on IT products, on behalf of FAIITA, we will be meeting with all the key ministers, requesting them to look into this matter.”

Already, traders are under fear, with the recent decision of government to retain 51% FDI in multi-brand retail. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has expressed dismay over the decision.

Another major software association NASSCOM along with e-tailers held a first round of meet with the government and sought 100% FDI in B2C e-commerce.

Another Delhi-based All India Computer Traders Association, ADCTA has listed out traders plights related to the unethical practices by the few online e-tailers. Swarn Singh, secretary, ADCTA highlighted, “As the Narendra Modi led government is busy in celebrating completion of one year, marketing their achievements. We, ADCTA request the incumbent government to support & protect livelihood of million of traders, employees and their families.”

Some questions:

1) When e-tailers like Amazon.in, flipkart.com, snapdeal.com, shopclues.com and many more are showing their balance sheet in loss - Why investors are investing millions of dollar in these companies.

2) How can these e-tailers discount the goods sold by sellers - When these e-tailers claimed that they are just a martketplace and sellers are deciding the prices, which is not ‘TRUE’.

3) Why is government protecting business of few e-tailers on the livelihood of millions of traders, employees and their families.

4) How these banks eg. ICICI, HDFC, SBI and many more…are giving 10%, 15% cash back on online purchase. Left alone Credit Cards, discounts are given on buying with Debit Cards too. - This is really a matter of investigation, how these banks are giving these discounts and what agreement they have with E-tailers. According to our understanding, these discounts are deep pocketed by E-tailers only.

5) E-tailers are abusing the law of land, black money is generating, tax evasion is going on because of their business model. But no one is taking action and stopping their un-ethical business model.

6) Competition Commission of India overlooked our submission which according to us proved E-tailers are running these business model as enterprises, which was sufficient for CCI to stop e-tailers present business model. But CCI overlooked our submission.

There are many more things, which are hurting and destroying established traditional market of all trades eg. IT, Electronics, Footwear, Fashion, Mobile, Games, Books and others.

“We are from IT market and never afraid of competition and arrival of new technology, because on equal grounds - they never ever beat us,” he said.

On one hand the traders do not see any positive results with the current government, on the flip side Sumit Mazumder, President, CII, said, “In one year, the Government has improved the economic situation dramatically as a result of which all major macroeconomic indicators are in sound territory. Inflation has declined, fiscal consolidation is better than targeted, the current account deficit stands compressed, and the exchange rate graph has smoothened out.”

“This provides a huge boost to consumer and investor confidence in the economic management of the country. Having strengthened the environment for doing business, the Government is also acting rapidly on the reforms front, targeting multiple areas for investment and social development simultaneously. We commend the Government for its unstinted commitment to economic growth and inclusive development and look forward to continued rapid action going forward,” he said.

R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM commented, “The Union Government has created certain commendable advances on the economic front with controlled inflation and decline in the fiscal deficit while maintaining a healthy GDP growth rate of 7.4%. The Government’s focused approach towards creating an ecosystem for business to grow and flourish and attract foreign investors to invest in India are noteworthy efforts and will go a long-way in strengthening India’s financial stability. NASSCOM is of the firm belief that effective usage of ICT across Government’s initiatives will create a greater positive impact and will help work towards faster implementation of the projects.”