Entry taxes won’t stop online purchases in UP!


Nothing gets in the way of UP online shoppers, not even 5% entry taxes!

There’s always something getting in the way of ecommerce. If it’s not nationwide regulations it’s marketplace discrepancies and injustice! Not too long ago state entry tax blew the lid off Indian ecommerce. Marketplaces were enraged by the unnecessary tax implication and took matters to court in different states.

In Uttar Pradesh, the entry tax imposed sits at 5%, according to news reports. The state government passed an order on Tuesday to levy 5% entry tax on all goods sold by ecommerce establishments.

UP Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, says, over the past few years online shopping has increased. This growth should also benefit the state and for that tax must be levied.

Who bares the cost online goods crossing state borders – the marketplace, the online seller or the consumer?

The online consumers of UP say they will pay the 5% entry tax!

The Desire for Online Retail in Uttar Pradesh

Annually online shopping in UP alone amounts to Rs. 11,000 crore give or take. This is even after online retailers expressed their reluctance in shipping high value items to the state. So CM Yadav is right about the ecommerce trend in his state. The unusual reaction to it is consumer’s steady determination to shop online, in spite of tax!

Why are UP Online Shoppers Unfazed?

  1. Online Shopping is Convenient! Why should people that give up?

Fashion designer Sonal Agarwal from Varanasi said, “There’s certain specialized equipment or tools, only available online.” As a result she wouldn’t even think twice about 5% entry tax when shopping online. She’d been looking for a lint remover in throughout shop in the city and eventually found one online. Sonali says, she won’t mind spending more to acquire something online if it makes her life easier.

Alka Sharma, an HR consultant said she uses the internet to buy goods for her 6 year old twins. When asked why, she said, because it is convenient. She also mentioned ecommerce has a variety of items for kids that you won’t find locally! So paying more is not a concern.

Another online shopper, Swapnali Nagarkar is resident in the state’s capital, Lucknow. She is a self employed business women who operates from home. As a result of her occupation she finds online shopping convenient. She usually buys toys and clothes for her children over the internet.

Swapnali says, “Paying extra for a dress for my daughter or a toy for my son, which I know will not be available in a store in Lucknow does not matter to me.”

“The ease of returning goods is also not the same at local stores, so for convenience’s sake, I will continue shopping online,” she states.

According to Kapil Sinha a businessman and Anand Bajpai a third year BCA student, both from Kanpur, felt shopping online is important despite the tax.

Anand Bajpai stated, “If I am buying a shirt worth Rs 1200, then paying Rs 60 extra doesn’t matter because utna toh hamara mall jaane mein petrol aur parking charges mein hi lag jayega, aur upar se traffic jam mein samay ki barbadi. Perhaps for those who shop for more expensive stuff, the 5% tax may be an issue.”

Kapil Sinha says, purchasing a shirt or shoes at the mall is time consuming. There’s traffic involved and long queues at the store. Not to mention sometimes it’s a wasted trip when you don’t find what you’re looking for!

  1. UP has Fashion Conscious Funders!

You can find some of the best fashion on the internet these days. The biggest names in style and fashion are easily accessible over the internet for those who adore it. Fashion conscious shoppers are never stingy when it comes to purchasing designer wear from the luxury of their own homes!

In fact, with the online lifestyle category gaining momentum, more and more consumers will be online combing through the virtual isles for trendy new apparel and accessories.

NGO activist, Bhawna Divy Ahuja from Lucknow believes, extra expenses for an exclusive range of clothing on the internet are worth it! She says most of the big brands aren’t available in the city and the ones that are, do not have a good variety. This makes online shopping the best option out there.

Kanpur interior designer, Saurabh Mehrotra, says, “When I am getting a variety of designs and colors to choose from while shopping for clothes online, paying extra for it hardly matters.”

Local Varanasi stores never have much variety, says housewife, Raveena Beri. So to match her needs she prefers buying online. Plus she enjoys attractive discounts all year round online. This isn’t the case with offline shopping in Varanasi.

Yes to Online Shopping but with a Degree of Refrain!

Not everyone is the same and certainly not online shoppers. However, that does not mean they will abstain from online retail.

Let’s see what more consumers had to say:

Since online shopping portals provide such competitive prices, one tends to shop for things that one does not even need,” says Dr. Nishant Kumar, a Dentist fro Allahabad. “For instance, I have bought wrist watches and apparel online just because they were available at a good price. Now if I have to pay 5% extra for this, I will certainly restrain myself.”He explains.

Uday Rao says from now on he will only shop online for the essentials that he cannot find in Varanasi stores. The electronics businessman says, “I recently bought a garden swing and parasol from a shopping site since it was not available in stores in Varanasi, and I will continue to shop for such things even if I have to shell out extra money for it. But for things like apparel, I will prefer to buy from the showrooms in the city, instead of just shopping randomly online.”

Based on news reports, the rules of entry tax will also apply to courier services, though details aren’t available.

We wonder if people will still be in favor of paying entry tax after that!

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