'Make GST return filing smoother, reduce tax on essential items'

With GST Network facing bottlenecks now, bizmen fear situation could worsen when filing will be in full swing

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'Make GST return filing smoother, reduce tax on essential items'
Businessmen say that filing three returns in 20 days every month is not viable.

The GST Network, which is the interface between businessmen and the government, could face major bottlenecks when filing returns for GST will begin, and so there should be a provision for filing it half yearly instead of the monthly option, said businessmen and experts.

They also said that tax on necessary items like sanitaryware should be either abolished or kept to a minimum as they are the key in Swachchhata Abhiyaan of the Centre.

'We will have to file three full fledged returns in a matter of 20 days every month. Till the network becomes robust, the return filing should be made half yearly," said Vaaris Isani, president of Gujarat Sales Tax Bar Association.

Businessmen say that they do not have opposition to the GST but they are facing issues in terms of procedures and high incidence of taxes, which could upset the roll out of what is termed as 'The Biggest Indirect Tax Reform' in independent India.

"Ceramic, furniture, electrical and a few other products are taxed at 28%. Such high rates will make local products noncompetitive in the Indian market and will lead to dumping of Chinese products. The government should immediately reduce taxes on such products," said Shailesh Patwari, president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce nd Industry (GCCI).

Patwari also demanded the provision of Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) should be abolished as it does not increases the revenue of the government and is a matter of harassment for genuine tax payers.


Bumps Ahead

Transporters complain of ambiguity in the implementation. While it is said that players need to register themselves as they are subjected to Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM), there are other aspects of business where registration is a must. A provision, which mandates that if  supplies are made outside a radius of 10 km, falls under e-Way bill is also complicating matters as over 70 per cent of the operates are not properly literate.

Transporters are not required to register as RCM applies to them, but there are various aspects which make registration compulsory.  We have met the government asking to remove ambiguities. Business has dipped by about 15-20%.”
Nimesh Patel, chairman of GST Committee, All  India  Motor Transport Congress

Footfalls drop by 50%

 Hoteliers say that while the concept of One Nation One Tax seems good, it  is impracticable  in a vast and diverse country like India. Players in smaller cities and towns stand to lose in the game. Players told DNA that footfalls in local restaurants have dropped by about 50 per cent. They forsee a return of a higher tax regime in the country.
From June to August, the business has dropped by 50%. Our staff strength has decreased by 20-25%. High taxes in Metro cities is okay but in smaller cities, the restrictions make business unviable.
Sanat Relia,  president, The Southern Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant Association

Left in bitter taste

Wholesale business in grains, pulses and spices has been traditionally in cash and on credit. Demonetisation has hit it hard. Now GST is yet another blow, say businessmen. While it was claimed that GST would bring down prices, actually prices of sweets have increased. Bakers have raised prices.

In the processed food sector, over 80% of business is unorganised. Subjecting them to compliance of filing monthly returns is unjustified. The complaince requirements are confusing. If job losses happen in this sector, it will not be compensated.
Hiren Gandhi,  chairman,  Food Committee, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lower taxes

Morbi, in Saurashtra region with about 650 companies, is  the ceramic hub of India. Its production stands at Rs28,500 crore, of which exports constitute about Rs6,200 crore. The tax rate  has  remained by and large the same after the roll out of GST. Players say these  are not luxury products and the tax should be decreased  from 28% to 12%. They want fuels to be a part of  GST.
We assure the government of zero revenue loss. These are basic items for sanitary use and should be taxed at 12%. Fuel is a major input for our sector. We want it under the GST umbrella so that players can get input tax credit, which will help continue price advantage in export markets.
Nilesh Jetparia, president, Morbi Ceramics Association

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