Flipkart Slapped Rs 23.51Cr Penalty For Listing Bogus Trading Firms, Not Depositing Taxes
Not quite the ideal way to kick off the New Year for Flipkart.
The poster boy of online retail space in India, Flipkart, which has an uncanny knack for courting controversy, has hit the headlines once again. And guess who has been rubbed off the wrong way this time?
The etailing honcho has incurred the wrath of none other than the IT department, riling them off for irregularities in its operations. It has been imposed a penalty to the tune of Rs 23.51 crore for the same, if reports are to be believed.
A raid was carried out at the Dasna (Ghaziabad) located warehouse belonging to the company by tax departments from Noida and Ghaziabad jointly.
An official working with the Income Tax department at Ghaziabad has confirmed that while the leading Indian online retailer made it obligatory for its buyers to deposit taxes, it did not proceed on and deposit the amounts thus collected with the said department.
“The said irregularity in the taxes was found after the books of the firm were seized. The company had earlier paid Rs 29 lakhs as penalty,” said the official without wanting to be named.
The same official went on to add that the sleuths had, during the course of their raid, also come across names of listed partners which did not actually exist. Meaning to say that a large number of listed trading partners of the largest etailer are bogus firms which exist only on paper.
When contacted, the Flipkart spokesperson said, “At Flipkart, it is our endeavor to be transparent in all our dealings with authorities. We are compliant with the laws of the land and will extend full support to the authorities and address any concerns they have.”
Earlier last month too, the media was abuzz with rumours about Flipkart having been slapped a penalty to the tune of Rs 13.8 lakh for non-compliance of rules related to importing goods inside India – a charge that had promptly been denied by the official Flipkart spokesperson.
The government has, of late, been tightening the noose on e-commerce companies in a bid to make sure that they adhere to the rules of the land and the buyers are not cheated. Keeping the buyers’ interest in mind, the consumer affairs department has moved a Cabinet proposal to bring online retailers under the purview of Consumer Protection Law too.