Online shopping has Shimla physical retailers up in arms

Shimla: Disruptive e-Commerce platforms bringing the merchandize right into your office or home by shopping with a click of mouse on online stores has physical retailers in this hill town up in arms, demanding state intervention to protect their business and booking the e-Merchants for evading taxes.

The Shimla Information Technology Dealers Association (SITDA) across the city shut down their computer and computer related hardware stores and shops for the entire day in protest against e-Commerce outlets eating into their business.

Jayant Upadhyay, president SITDA asked for regulation and imposition of taxes of online shopping. “Online stores are evading taxes, harming the state exchequer and are also causing heavy revenue losses to physical retailers,” he said.

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Online markets was a form of ‘black marketing’ as they paid not taxes to the government but were luring people with very low prices or very lucrative offers. These virtual stores provided no product guarantees, which was a violation of consumer protection laws, he added.

The association has appealed to Himachal Pradesh chief minister to frame a suitable policy, regulate online shopping and impose taxes on the sales conducted by them.

“After seeing revenue loss it was causing to the state exchequer, Kerala has banned online shopping,” claimed Upadhyay. “If Kerala can ban it, why not Himachal,” he said.online-shopping

Another trader body, last month, had demanded that the government impose taxes and regulate online shopping.

“We pay taxes ranging from 5 to 13.75% on various products but the online shoppers conveniently pay nothing,” says Inderjeet Singh president of the other traders organization

 The reputed shopping arcade The Mall, which has many shops of many reputed brands, has reported a drop in sales and a lot of the shop owners blame online shopping hitting them hard.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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