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Why Flipkart Is Not Delivering My Shipments to Kerala Anymore

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By Anju Anna John:

One of my greatest woes about going back to Kochi for the next semester stems from the fact that Flipkart has stopped delivering in Kerala[1]. As I skim through the items that I want to order and try to check if they deliver to my address, I am told that ‘This product is not available in 683503 (my PIN number)’. In fact, Flipkart is not the only online retailer that has stopped providing services to their consumers in Kerala, popular sites like Snapdeal, Jabong and Myntra had also stopped services to postal addresses within the state of Kerala. However, eBay and Amazon continue to deliver, albeit with longer shipping durations.


One of the primary features that helped Flipkart gain its popularity was the Cash-on-Delivery feature. This service seems to be the root cause that triggered a string of events that have resulted in the present problem. The Kerala Commercial Sales Tax Department is of the view that, in case of the Cash-on-Delivery option, the sale takes place within the State and thus, becomes liable to be taxed by the State.

The modus operandi of most online retailers is to hire third-party logistics to deliver their merchandise to the consumers. According to the Circular No. 16/2011 , in case of inter-state movement of goods, the shippers are expected to fill in the Declaration Form 8F under the Kerala Value Added Tax Rules, 2005 [Rule 66(6)]. A courier company (Blue Dart) was penalised to the tune of Rs. 3 Crore, by the Commercial Sales Tax Department. Following this, the matter has been taken to the court and a verdict is awaited regarding the same[2].

However, Vijay Kumar, CEO of Express Industry Council of India, has been reported to have stated that, Blue Dart has managed to get a stay on further proceedings from the High Court. If this is in fact the case, Blue Dart and other courier services would be able to resume the Cash-on-Delivery service until the matter has been finally decided by the court. Thus allowing e-Commerce sites like Jabong and Myntra to resume the Cash-on-Delivery service for the time being.

There are speculations by online shoppers in Kerala that the Sales Tax Department’s policies are in order to help the local business . Although this may be disputable, there is no denying the fact that the present situation has benefitted the retail market in the State. Kerala is largely considered a consumer state with a large NRI population.

The essential question that this issue has raised is whether the Cash-on-Delivery option (in pursuance of an e-commerce purchase) should be subject to Central Sales Tax (CST) or the State’s Sales Tax Department? Or both? A uniform tax policy with regard to e-commerce across the nation is the need of the hour.


You must be to comment.
  1. Yeshu Aggarwal

    Why I’m not even surprised? Kerala probably has the worst Sales Tax Department. The rules, for starters, are very rigid. Secondly, the department is highly unco-operative. It’s like most the times, when you’ve to make a choices you’re between a rock and a hard place. I sincerely hope implementation of GST shows them right place!

  2. Arati Bkrish

    Really? I’m from Kochi and till now I’ve had no issues. I hope it stays this way.

  3. Rajan Indra

    I too have purchased books online from Flipkart & Bookadda and paid in advance. No hassles. I live in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

  4. keerthi balakrishnan still delivers though.

  5. gautam govinda

    and here i was thinking about the little problems like 6 year olds getting killed after rape. I forgot there were still large problems at hand like the non delivery of a FUCKING shipment!!!

  6. Dharmesh

    Hello Anju Anna John,

    The direct impact of this stupidity by the Kerela Sales tax gang is on the end consumers. As you’ve mentioned that Kerela is a consumer state and why? We’ll follow a backward trail here….That’s because Kerela doesn’t produce the goods which are currently imported there from other states and abroad. Why does it import and not produce? Because Kerela it’s simply not economical to produce those goods in Kerela as it might cost producing such a thing at much higher price than it is already available in market by imports!

    Whats the effects on customers now that the sellers have stopped selling to Kerela? Their demand is not satisfied and if at all it is, by the local retailers who are directly favored by the stupid sales tax department, the consumers will have to pay higher price for the same thing now. It’s upto Kerelians to decide, which apparently is the most educated state in India they say, to decide whether to favor local retails and pay higher prices and shrink their savings or to inform their sales tax department peacefully to GET OUT of the way and let the market function as it was.
    Taxing in one way or the other will only make things worse than ever because Tax is nothing but theft from consumers and sellers for satisfying personal motives of those working in govt. Are people still ignorant about this fact? Really! They still think tax is good! LMAO.

    Kerela, simple as that, if you need quality goods for cheaper prices, you’ve got to eliminate the role of regulators like sales tax and VAT departments. And I mean ‘Eliminate’ and not ‘Replacement’ by some other tax in new fancy clothes.

  7. Tony Higtim

    I’m a Keralite.
    Kerala is a place where people never allow you to eat your food which you paid for and they never eat what you bought!
    They spoil every spirit you have!
    There useless people never bring useful things to shop and tell customers to get lost.
    That is why people inside Kerala sit in the kitchen and never do work!
    Unions are also useless people, they never allow you to unload even yourself and at times, they demand to get paid for just watching the goods unloaded.
    Where is this union from??
    To unload 5 cartons of less weight that I could carry costed Rs. 4000/-.
    I hate staying!!
    Shops are closed by owner themselves before 6 and opened lately. Saturday sunday and any harthal days closed.
    They are happy for their loss!!
    And, Harthals… You see that many things go pending on a harthal announced, your tickets gets postponed for a simple task to meet some govt official..!
    Waste management is a big concern.. People come to take waste, they won’t but!!
    The waste should be put into the people who are responsible to serve public, from the Govt!!
    All this brainless activities together with the hot climate and mosquitoes and waste.
    A Hell..
    People want to sleep at home and get paid!!
    Politicians eating public funds and looking at public as if we are inside his toilet!!
    People come to our toilet and might look at us as it we have got inside their place!!
    Gods are no more in Kerala!!!

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