13 May, 2021

Clueless In GST Country

The teething period of the new tax regime begins on a chaotic note, cornering several traders

Revenue Whip
Cops lathicharge ­protesting textile traders in Surat
Photograph by PTI
Clueless In GST Country

With the rollout of the long awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) having become a reality, teething pains have begun for businesses, both big and small. Those having a computerised system for maintaining records are facing less hassle in transitioning to the new system, about which the awareness is still lacking. For the average consumer, the change is pleasing, with lower prices for some products, even though there are complaints of consumers having to pay more for services they don’t recall paying earlier for. For instance, some small restaurants that earlier did not mention any tax in their bill, are charging more with the implementation of GST.

For traders, a large number of whom were earlier maintaining ad hoc records and getting away without paying any or only part of the taxes, the new system seems too intrusive as it requires rec­ords of each and every movement of goods.  Last few days have seen protests in an increasing number of cities, starting from Surat, Varanasi, Bhopal and Coimbatore, among others, mostly by textile traders. These are traders...

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