Picture this. You set up shop and toil for years to gain a customer base. You’ve pumped in millions of dollars of capital to compete with players both domestic and foreign. It’s been years, and your efforts are paying off. You have millions of customers but have posted losses year after year. Then, one day, you get a notice from the tax officials. It not only claims that you are you profitable, but that you owe close to Rs 140 crore ($20.4 million) in taxes. This isn’t some random hypothetical scenario. It’s what happened to Flipkart on 22 December 2017.
The collateral damage of regulatory roulette
Trigger-happy and whimsical, Indian regulators pose a threat to the very industries, businesses and consumers they’re meant to protect
27 years after liberalisation, Indian regulators continue to use obscure legal provisions to shock the system
It's an old habit of a bygone era that regulators can't seem to let go of
Sometimes these diktats by government authorities and regulators have a chilling effect on business
Even the consumers, whose interests regulators are meant to protect, are often left counting the cost