Karnataka IT, biotech and e-governance Secretary, Srivatsa Krishna has squarely blamed Amazon for its sales tax dispute with the state government.
In September last year, the Karnataka government stopped Amazon India from selling some products from its warehouse in the state by cancelling the licences of third-party merchants supplying goods to the etailer’s Karnataka warehouse. The issue is still hanging fire.
“Why is that only one company (Amazon) has had an issue with sales tax; Flipkart has no problem, Snapdeal has no problem, Jabong has no problem, Myntra has no problem,” Krishna said in an interview with CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan.
“Why can't they (Amazon India) follow the laws of the land. Especially when Jeff Bezos, sitting in Banglore at the World Trade Centre, said wherever we are, we have to follow the regulations of that state in that country. Why don't they listen to their boss?,” Krishna said.
The Karnataka tax department’s contention is that Amazon is liable to pay sales tax
because when the merchants store the goods at Amazon’s warehouse, the ownership of the good is transferred to it till the goods are sold.
“I think they are not complying with what the government of Karnataka has asked them to do; If this was done by someone in the government, it would be called insubordination. So Amit Agarwal (Managing Director, Amazon India) must wake up and listen to what Jeff Bezos is telling him,” Krishna said.
He also disputed Hyderabad’s claim of being the IT capital of the country, and said Bangalore is the second-largest IT cluster on the planet after Silicon Valley. By 2020, Banglore will become the largest IT cluster providing 8 million jobs directly and indirectly, he said.
On Google’s plan to sign an MoU with Hyderabad for setting up its largest campus outside of US, Krishna said it has been in the works for 8 years.
“The Google story is an MoU which I am told was signed 6-8 years ago and got fructified now. So, if it takes you eight years to fructify then they have something to worry about,” Krishna said.
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