The Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s biggest reform in indirect taxes still remains a work in progress even one full year after its implementation as there are certain glitches in the network that need to be resolved, a top Telangana Government official said at an ASSOCHAM event held recently.
“I see that second year will bring a lot of stabilisation to the GST,” said Somesh Kumar, principal secretary (commercial taxes & excise), Government of Telangana while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM National Conclave on GST.
“One of the highlight of the GST was that there will be invoice matching which will be possible, unfortunately the GST Network (GSTN) has not been able to provide this facility,” he said.
“Sometimes we want to do lot of data analytics in Telangana but we do not get the full data, as we would like from the GSTN,” added Kumar while presenting a report card on first year of GST.
While he hailed the GST Council for showing lot of maturity with rapid response on emerging needs, Mr Kumar said, “On GST Network I have my reservations, they could have done much better. Today, if there is any criticism of GST it is not on GST per se, it is on the network, its inability to respond and various problems that we face.”
He also pointed out that TDS which is supposed to be put on all government works and similarly TCS which is to go for the e-commerce have not started. “All these items actually impact the collections.”
Kumar also asked the industry to come up with its suggestions on resolving the various challenges that need to be resolved.
On the promises made under the GST and it’s benefits to the businesses, he said that while it has been very positive on the organised sector but the unorganised sector is still reeling under the impact of GST.
Noting that there has been an increase in compliance burden especially for small businesses, Mr Kumar said, “SMEs were promised that they will not be affected but on the whole this sector needs more support.”
Similarly, he said that there is a need to have rationalization of rates of tax/slabs, besides processing of refunds has not become seamless and particularly exporters are suffering.
He also said that all the departments central and excise have to change their mind-set and become attune to the needs of GST.
Further, Kumar said though reverse charge mechanism is still not operational and has been put on hold till September 2018 but it will make things more transparent and provide a level playing field for everybody.