In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said that due to sensitivity of information maintained by the companies, the reasons for relocation of operations are not explicitly spelt out. “Several multinational companies have evinced their interest to shift their base into India across different states in sectors such as electronics, retail, e-commerce, automotive, food processing, textiles etc,” he said.
He added that the government is working hard to institutionalize more investor friendly reforms to support and facilitate investments into India. The FDI inflow from the US and other countries in 2019-20 was $74.39 billion, while it was at $16.26 billion for April–July 2020-21, Goyal said.
Goyal also told the Rajya Sabha that it is too early to make an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the e-commerce sector since the pandemic is still ongoing. Various restrictions were imposed to ensure social-distancing during lock down under guidelines released by Ministry of Home Affairs, from time to time. “During this period delivery of essential goods, including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment were encouraged through e-commerce,” he said. Goyal also said that e-commerce operators are liable to be registered irrespective of the value of supply made by them. The benefit of threshold exemption is not available to e-commerce operators. On specific categories of services, the GST is payable by the electronic commerce operator if such services are supplied through them. The e-commerce operators are also required to collect Tax Collection at Source (TCS) at the rate of 1% of the net value of taxable supplies made through them.
One District One Product
The commerce and industry ministry is engaging with state and central government agencies to promote the initiative of One District One Product to convert each district of the country into an export hub, Parliament was informed on Friday. This is being done by identifying products with export potential in the district, addressing bottlenecks in their export, supporting local exporters, manufacturers to scale up manufacturing, and find potential buyers.
“As part of this initiative, an institutional mechanism is being set up in each district in the form of District Export Promotion Committees (DEPCs) that may be headed by DM/ Collector/ DC/ District Development Officer of the District and co-chaired by the designated Regional Authority of DGFT and various other stakeholders as its members,” Goyal said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
In a separate reply, he informed the Upper House that as per the available data on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), 50,346 contracts were awarded between June 4 and September 15 to various sellers for products conforming to the new guidelines, under which GeM has made it mandatory for sellers to declare ‘Country of Origin’ for every product offered by them on the portal.