Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, which may be tabled in the Parliament’s upcoming monsoon session, seems to have "pushed the internet economy under the bus", said industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India.
As per ‘The Economic Times’ report, new GST Bill is a wasted opportunity to set up a futuristic supervisory regime with focus on the important sectors that are expected to drive growth in the country, IAMAI has said.
At the heart of the matter is the Bill's extant Service Tax Profile recognises services like, online information and database access, advertising and online information services.
This means that services provided by companies such as, Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Airtel, Vodafone or a Flipkart are identified as the same in the Bill.
"The new GST Bill springs an unpleasant surprise: a 'forward looking' Bill that is supposed to modernise Indian governance fails to recognise the Internet and digital economy in India. It is ironic that while on one hand the Government is promoting Digital India and Start-up India initiatives, the GST seeks to turn the clock back by decades," IAMAI said.
IAMAI considers companies like Twitter, LinkedIn Microsoft and Google as its members in the country
Electronic mail, voice mail, data services, audio text services, video text services, radio paging and cellular mobile telephone services have been clubbed under 'telecommunication services' have been clubbed under the new GST Bill.