MP: Cash crunch-hit industry not worried over GST delay

Reeling under the demonetisation-induced cash crisis, the industry needs more time to prepare itself for the goods and services tax (GST) and so is not worried about a delay in its rollout.

The GST Council, chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley, is yet to agree on three more issues, and its rollout looks unlikely by April 1, 2017. Once the law is passed, the industry will need at least three months’ time to be GST ready as the IT infrastructure will have to be in place.

“Let the industry recover from demonetisation and the resultant economic slowdown. A new tax regime will bring its own set of challenges. We are expecting GST implementation from second quarter of 2017,” Pithampur industry association president Gautam Kothari said.

Association of Industry, Madhya Pradesh, president OP Dhoot said, “We feel that GST should not be implemented until there is total clarity on the new law. There are some issues that would become clear once the GST Council deliberations are over. For now, we have been asked to complete the provisional registration for GST.”

Dewas industry association president Ashok Khandelia, however, said, “The problem in implementing GST midway through the financial year is that two separate books will have to be maintained for that year — one related to VAT and other taxes, and the other when GST gets implemented. The question also arises on how to claim input credit and other such claims. So we would prefer that it gets implemented from the new financial year, although that is highly unlikely now.”

Jaitley said last week that certain “turf issues” still remain to be sorted out before the GST rollout and the new indirect tax regime can be implemented anytime between April 1 and September 16, 2017.

“GST is a transactional tax and not an income tax. Transactional tax can start in any part of the financial year and therefore, the range of timing when it has to come into force because of constitutional necessity is April 1, 2017 to September 16, 2017,” Jaitley said.

The GST will subsume all the taxes including VAT, central excise and entry taxes, and will make it easier for the government to track tax evasion.

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