Siddaramaiah claims e-tailing firms not evading VAT

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said he was willing to get legally examined whether e-commerce firms were evading Value Added Tax (VAT), in a bid to clear apprehensions raised by the Opposition on the issue.

Replying to the budget proposals for 2015-16 in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah said e-commerce firms such as Amazon and Flipkart operating in the State were paying VAT.

“The vendors and consumers are paying tax. There is no question of anyone evading tax. Flipkart had paid VAT to the tune of Rs 226 crore last year. Yet, if there are doubts in the minds of the Opposition, we can get the matter legally examined,” Siddaramaiah said.

JD(S) Leader H D Kumaraswamy, during his speech on the budget, had wondered why the government had a soft corner for e-commerce firms. Kumaraswamy had accused these firms of doing business without paying taxes.
He said when the then commercial taxes commissioner Ajay Seth, IAS, tried to rein them in, he was forced to go on leave.

Siddaramaiah said Seth was a good officer and the government had not shunted him out. The officer had sought leave so that he could help his (Seth’s) daughter in her studies. There was no question of the government coming under pressure from any quarters, Siddaramaiah claimed.

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