GST rollout: Rumours of delay false, Hasmukh Adhia tweets; in reply many express worries over readiness

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Tuesday denied rumours that the rollout of Goods and Services Tax will be delayed and urged businesses not to be misled by false rumours.

Adhia tweeted on Tuesday morning:

The government has time and again reiterated its position that there will be no change in deadline for the rollout of the biggest indirect tax reform on 1 July.

Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week said that there is no reason to further postpone its targeted 1 July roll-out date on GST.

"With all the procedural matters decided, registrations are taking place at a fast pace. Today I see no reason why we can't target July 1," Jaitley told CNBC TV18.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has raised serious doubts over the feasibility of GST roll-out from 1 July saying that the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) was not ready to handle the large volumes of forms that would be received.

However, Jaitley said that other states' finance ministers did not share Mitra's view.

Negating any adverse impact of GST on growth, Jaitley said there could be initial teething troubles but it would actually lead to expansion of assessee base and taxpayer base.

"There may be teething troubles initially...I don't think there would be any adverse impact on growth. Disruption will be there because we are switching to a new system. But I foresee assessee base and taxpayer base expanding," he said.

However, there are serious concerns raised about the viability of the rollout on 1 July.

Mitra on Sunday raised serious doubts over the feasibility of the deadline and proposed its postponement by a month or so.

"I have also added a caveat (in the GST Council meeting) that July 1 looks extremely difficult. But you cannot do frugal innovation for world's largest fiscal reform called GST. And you are going to start GST from July 1. So my submission was, let us not do frugal innovation for something which is the world's largest fiscal reform," Mitra told reporters after the 16th Council meeting here on Sunday.

He said that there is no harm in postponement of the GST "by one month or so".

"That's a point I made on record. Whenever we are fully prepared to our satisfaction when everyone feels comfortable we can go ahead," he added.

In response to Adhia's tweet on Tuesday, many have expressed similar concerns.

"Sir, we at the retail level have no idea, what are the norms to be followed, how to go about it and even our software vendor is not ready... Rates have not been informed. I've heard that there will be diff types of GST, returns will be monthly, unlike VAT. What to do with commission income etc. Penalties seem to be stiff, even if someone else in the chain is at fault etc. Serious doubts. Please issue a detailed FAQ," one user with handle @LastBencher replied to Adhia.

"Thank you for showing your resolve. But reality is different. An ERP package is better implemented. GST implementation will be disastrous," another user @iranisarosh tweeted.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Jun 13, 2017 12:19 PM

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