Sitharaman: E-comm can’t be backdoor for multi-brand retail

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 23:43 IST

Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said e-commerce cannot be a ‘backdoor entry’ for multi-brand retail in India.

Sitharaman is on a two-day visit to London to seek investment, and interact with trade representatives, particularly the Confederation of British Industry.

She told newspersons that her ministry was looking into some complaints after Flipkart issue, but said there was no investigation as such. She said there was no movement on multi-brand retail, but added that e-commerce could not be a ‘backdoor’ for foreign companies.

Sitharaman said the government would not resort to retrospective taxation, a position that was enunciated during the finance minister’s speech. In fact, she said efforts were on to simplify tax laws to ensure ease of doing business.

Vodafone, she said, was one of the companies affected by retrospective taxation, but the courts were dealing with the issue since the concerned amendment was under litigation.

On the US reviewing Indian IPR laws, she said it could at best be a ‘pedagogic exercise’, and added that India had robust laws to deal with such issues. “We stand our ground,” she said.

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