The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is at it again, targeting the e-commerce companies. CAIT wants the government to place restrictions on the e-commerce companies selling on their platforms, anything other than the essential items. The trade body has written to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard. CAIT has also put forth several demands for concessions and relaxations due to the disruption in the business brought about by the coronavirus spread. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has also got the same letter.
In a separate statement addressed to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CAIT’s National President BC Bhartia has listed a few demands.
The first one is that the financial year itself be extended up to June’ 2020 instead of March 31, 2020. He has said all deadlines such as remittances of taxes like income tax and GST also be deferred till June 30, 2020. CAIT wants the government to waive any penal interest for delayed payments. A similar accommodation is being sought in respect of repayment of loans the retail trade in the country would have availed and desires that loan repayment tenures be extended.
The trade body wants the government to announce a financial stimulus package that can mitigate the situation being faced by the various sectors in the economy. CAIT has asked the government to direct banks to offer short term loans at lower rates of interest. State Bank of India has already announced a plan for its customers. Possibly, Bhartia wants the government to direct all banks to open up their coffers for similar loans.
Lastly, CAIT desires that IRDAI must come up with a directive to all insurance companies to introduce a low premium policy that can cover COVID-19 which is to be treated as a natural calamity.
On most occasions, trade bodies place such demands with the government for relaxations and concessions. Some of them get accepted while many don’t. It remains to be seen which of these demands put forth by CAIT are accepted.