The Commerce Ministry on Thursday said that online transactions of goods adhering to the e-commerce norms will be entitled to duty benefits under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS).
Defining “e-commerce” for the purpose of MEIS, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said that e-commerce means buying and selling of goods and services, including digital products, conducted over digital and electronic network.
“For the purpose of MEIS, e-commerce shall mean the export of goods hosted on a website accessible through the internet to a purchaser. While the dispatch of goods shall be made through courier or postal mode, as specified under the MEIS, the payment for goods purchased on e-commerce platform shall be done through international credit/debit cards and as per a RBI circular,” the DGFT was quoted by PTI as saying.
Under the MEIS, the Government provides duty benefits at 2 per cent, 3 per cent and 5 per cent depending upon the products and country.
With the increasing use of internet across the globe, a large amount of trade is also conducted through online platforms.
Commenting on the issue, traders body CAIT said that instead of defining “retail trade”, the Government is rushing to define e-commerce trade.
In a statement, it said “CAIT is unable to understand the hurry of the Government in matters of e-commerce and lackluster attitude towards retail trade”.
CAIT also asked for a national trade policy for retail trade and a separate ministry for internal trade.