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WTO extends nil tax on e-transmissions

The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s decision to extend the practice of not imposing customs duty on electronic transmissions by six months to June 2020 has hurt the interests of developing nations like India. India and South Africa had argued that the ecommerce moratorium led to loss of revenue (which according to an UNCTAD study, could be as high as US$ 500 million every year for India) as it gave such transmissions immunity from taxation in the WTO.

“India’s commitments in the WTO allow it to discriminately tax ecommerce transmissions. This means India can tax imported transmissions even as it exempts the local ones. Same is the case with many countries,” noted an expert on trade issues.