Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 26:
Odisha Government loses an average of Rs 60 crore in revenue every month from smart phone sales because of online shopping portals and sales in the black market.
Given the high VAT rates in the state, most business owners prefer to bring phones from other states and sell them to the customers here without receipt. There are others who order phones from online portals in bulk and sell them to the customers here to avoid the state taxes.
Insiders say the smart phone business in the state is worth Rs 70 crore a month out of which about 50 percent of the orders are placed online. However, only 10 percent of these orders are placed by end users themselves while the rest of the orders come from business owners.
These illegal orders amount to Rs 32 crore a month. A nexus between shopping portals and business owners is suspected to be behind the racket.
As per information provided by Apple, the maker of iPhone, it has only two distributors in the state that manage to sell about 10 handsets a month. However, a whopping 400 iPhones are sold in Odisha on an average every month.
Thus an average of 390 phones are usually sold by business owners who smuggle in handsets from other states and sell them without a receipt and the ones who order phones from online portals.
The state loses taxes of about Rs 27 lakhs every month from iPhone sales alone.