Have level playing field for Indian internet firms: Lekhi

Have level playing field for Indian internet firms: Lekhi

Indian internet companies need a level playing field, especially with respect to taxation, to be able to grow like global giants such as Alibaba, BJP spokesperson and MP, Meenakshi Lekhi said today.

"Alibaba is doing very well becuase it happens to be a US based consortium. But if the same consortium would have been working in India, both US and China would have worked against it when it comes to taxes," Lekhi said at an Assocham event.

Earlier at the same event, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that e-commerce in India has vast opportunity and India too can have companies like e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Indian Cellular Association (ICA) National President Pankaj Mohindroo raised the issue of predatory pricing by e-commerce companies before Lekhi.

"FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) is not allowed in multi -brand retails but FDI is being allowed in camouflaged manner in e-commerce. There is very serious predatory pricing happening. We checked certain items, in which e-commerce companies are selling 4-5 per cent cheaper than the actual cost price," Mohindroo said.

Retailers of mobile phones too have complained that e-commerce companies are selling below actual cost of product with help of their investor which adversely impacting them.

To this, Lekhi said: "In fact, that is exactly a point which I made for Alibaba. What is permitted in US for a company which is earning for the US is permitted. But when I try and tax Google, Facebook and Twitter in India there is a hue and cry."

She said the government should look at rationalising the tax structure for domestic companies across globe to help them scale at international level.

"Not because I have anything against anyone making money but I think level playing field for Indians needs to be assigned. Somewhere that kind of equal treatment needs to be granted," Lekhi said.

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