State of the economy: Why the govt should urgently ease GST compliance burden for small traders

The roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST), one of the biggest economic reform launched by the Narendra Modi government. Though it is largely on course, there are steps that have to be taken to address the teething troubles faced by the industry during the transition phase, said M S Mani, Partner at consultancy firm Deloitte.

“There is definitely room for improvement to ease the compliance burden of the small traders but a reform of this extent was sure to have implementation problems,” said Mani to Firstpost in the third part of the State of the Economy Dialogues series.

“Already small traders are somewhat unhappy with the number of forms to be filled even during those months when there is no business. These requirements needs to be done away with and simplified to enhance participation,” said Mani.

Representational image.

Representational image.

Four months after the GST roll out, there is a big political debate going on between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress-led Opposition party with respect to the impact of GST on various businesses. Mani said these problems are transitory in nature and political parties shouldn’t over-politicise the issue. Instead, he says, these should be treated as an important tax reform.

According to Mani, it will take at least a year for the economy to get over the initial hiccups of the GST implementation. Mani pointed out the danger of GST becoming the subject of political mudslinging and cautioned that this will unnecessarily create panic among small traders.

Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 19:53 PM

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