GST from 1 July: Traders want ombudsman for redressal of grievances under new regime
CAIT, the traders body, has demanded that the government declare first nine months post GST implementation up to 31 March as an interim period,
New Delhi: Traders' body CAIT on Monday demanded setting up of an 'impartial authority' like an ombudsman or Lokpal, whom businessmen can voice their grievances related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and seek redressal.
"At present if I have a taxation-related grievance, the appellate authority is also a person who is part of the system. The way there is an ombudsman everywhere else, under GST also there should be a provision for a Lokpal or ombudsman," Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal told reporters.
"If I have a problem there has to be an impartial authority where I can go and air my grievances," he added. Khandelwal said small businesses will face difficulties in complying with the GST due to it being a technology-driven taxation system, as 60 percent of traders have yet to adopt computerisation in their existing business format.
Terming the GST as a learning process for traders as well as the government, Khandelwal demanded that the government declare first nine months post GST implementation up to 31 March as an interim period, in which there should not be any penal action against traders for 'procedural lapses leading to non-compliance'. CAIT also sought the first two years post the GST rollout from 1 July to be declared as a transition period.
"We have also requested the government to suspend implementation of e-way Bill and HSN Code for six months," Khandelwal said, highlighting that the government needs to sit with traders to iron out initial difficulties in compliance.
The traders' body asked the government to clarify which products will come under the ambit of unbranded goods, saying that a lot of confusion has erupted over it among traders.
Asserting that almost 19 percent of the items have been classified in the 28 percent tax slab under GST which was meant for 'luxurious and demerit' goods, Khandelwal requested the government to 'revisit' the 28 percent slab in line with the fundamentals decided by the GST Council.
According to CAIT, stocks pertaining to the period up to the previous one year from date of GST implementation shall only be considered for availing input credit. 100 percent input credit of Value Added Tax is allowed on such stock.
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The e-way bill for moving goods within a state will become mandatory from 3 June, with the country-wide roll out of the mechanism
Touted as an anti-evasion measure, the e-way bill help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on cash basis.
The five states which would form part of the first phase of intra-state e-way bills are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh