Road Ahead of GST, Concerns, Apprehensions & Opportunities
While Industry welcomes GST, also shares it’s concerns. Policymakers must address concerns on GST Implementations. Perspective of MSMEs and SMEs must be explored, By Faiz Askari
NEW DELHI: 5 AUGUST 2016: The clearance of GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha (Upper house of the Indian parliament), has marked an end to the long tumultuous debate. Although, late, the the elected policymakers finally approved the crucial 122nd Constitutional amendment to turn the bill into law.
The passed GST bill will now go back to the Lower House of the Indian parliament (Lok Sabha) to incorporate the amendments approved by the Rajya Sabha. The bill will also have to be approved by 50 per cent of all the state assemblies.
Now, the entire industry, taxation and finace experts are brainstorming on the implementations and possible impacts on different sectors of the economy. The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector is one of the most important and crucial one to get effected. While the Revenue Secretary indicated that the roll out target date for the GST is April 1, 2017, the challenges in implementing and accepting the Bill still remain major concern.
The biggest apprehension or concern for stakeholders is about compliance issues. Other than compliance, the complexity and comprehensiveness of the bill in itself is a big concern. V K Aggarwal, Past President, FISME, the apex body for MSME associations, said, “While we welcome GST, we are also concerned from the possible impacts on the trade. However, provisions like arrest, huge penalties etc. are also making us think thoroughly on the implantation process of this bill. Also the GST administration can break open office, go for house searching. Generally people are scary of these things.”
“The government should take the trade associations and business associations into confidence. Repressive provisions should be removed. They should not assume that businessmen are thieves and those who will run the GST are good people. The government should change its mind-sets,” he added.
On the contrary, the Federation of India Export Organizations (FIEO) President S C Ralhan shared another side of the belief, and said, “Implementation of GST is not a big deal because all political parties have supported it and even the states are not going to oppose it. But the big question is that what are the rules and regulations? The industry or the exporters are not aware of that. What will happen in coming time, nobody knows. That requires very detailed discussions at association’s level, Government officials to explain each and everything about GST. The biggest problem which we have foreseen in the implementation is that a lot of working capital will be blocked of the exporters remedy. As of today, it looks we will have to raise the GST even on our exports rights. Lot of dialogue needed to be held and till now nothing is cleared.”