Experts claim more time required to understand, implement tax reform.
Mumbai: As the date for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) inches closer, confusion among small traders has grown as the time limit was not enough to understand the reforms. Professionals such as tax consultants and chartered accountants (CA) are also finding it complicated, as this is the biggest tax reform in recent history. The state government has been organising lectures and workshops for traders who are feeling the pressure from the system to comply with the new tax regime.
Asserting that more time is needed for the tax reform, Ishan Patkar, a CA and advocate said that the government should adopt a little lenient view towards tax collection in the first year. “Other nations have given a couple of years for the traders to understand and pay GST. In India also, the government has hastily passed the law, and without giving sufficient time, it is going to implement it. All need time to understand it, as it the biggest tax transformation anyone has experienced,” Mr Patkar said.
Chandrakant Salunkhe, President of Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India, welcomed the reforms but demanded suitable infrastructure for the traders. “One tax one country is a good concept. But there is confusion and fear among some traders. A few have a feeling that this tax regime will impact their turnover and growth. The small businesses have no in-house consultants for taxation. No doubt that there are advantages also to this new system. The government should pay more attention towards technological support and bring awareness. If the new tax slab is affecting particular businesses then the government should consult those particularly aggravated traders,” Mr Salunkhe said.
Kumar Rajgopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India said that tax evading would become difficult with this. “The government is doing its best for awareness. It is new for all of us. Under the circumstances, some find it difficult to cope with it. But the traders will manage it. This is the simplest tax system the India could have had. GST is subsuming all the other taxes. The GST is based on technology, and people will have to take efforts to learn the technology. People are worried because it is new. If technology is working well then the process would be smooth,” Mr Rajgopalan.
Speaking to The Asian Age, Finance minister Sudhir Mungatiwar set aside all the fears about its implementation. “Maharashtra is the number one state in the country over the implementation of the tax. There will be no difficulties over the implementation,” he said.