The government-planned unveiling of the e-commerce roadmap in Indonesia by the end of this month seems to be hitting some funding and taxation road blocks.
The roadmap, which was coined last February, involves eight ministries, namely the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transportation, the Investment Coordinating Board and the Creative Economy Agency.
“It was initially planned to be launched by the end of August, but unfortunately we cannot be sure whether it will be delivered on time or not. Have patience, we’ve done it since February and it’s almost completed,” said Rudiantara, the Minister of Communication and Information.
According to him, taxation and funding issues are the two most challenging barriers stopping the roadmap’s finalisation.
“[The] E-commerce [industry] will find it difficult to pay 10 per cent of each transaction, so the option would be to make it similar to tax in the market, so it might be in [the] form of market tax,” he added.
Furthermore, he also admitted that regulating taxes for the e-commerce industry is more complicated than regulating offline businesses.
Another issue that emerges refers to funding, as the government is currently discussing which sources of capital online SMEs may pursue — such as soft loan programs or government funds.
One missing industry is the banks because any banking-related solution is blocked by regulation, as there is currently no programme that covers online businesses.
“The Public Business Credit can only be used for physical businesses. Unfortunately, e-commerce does not have physical goods and that’s what makes banks hesitate to take part. This situation needs serious socialisation,” he explained.
Besides finalising the roadmap, the government is also currently preparing the ‘Bill of E-commerce’ to manage and protect the players of the local e-commerce industry. The ministry plans on focussing a lot of its energy into the bill and infrastructure establishment.
The article The Government Delays Indonesia’s E-Commerce Roadmap Launching was first published on DailySocial.
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