Traders association Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) today made a case for delaying the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to September 1 as small businesses are not yet prepared for it. Nearly 70% of small businesses in the country are yet to adopt digital technology in their business format and as such it is a big challenge for them to computerised themselves in the shortest period, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.
"Accordingly, the deadline of GST implementation from July 1, may be deferred for a reasonable time and meanwhile a nationwide campaign for mass awareness on GST may be conducted involving trade associations all over the country," he said. Though CAIT favour early implementation of GST in the country yet it has urged the Government to give reasonable time to traders to understand the provisions of GST and prepare themselves for smooth transition from current VAT regime to GST, he said.
The GST, a technology-based taxation system, requires compliance through online system, he added. After the passage of model GST law in the second leg of Budget session, traders would be left with 60 days to adopt this technology-based system which requires training and education and awareness, he said, adding the timeframe is too short.
About two crore small businesses across the country would come under GST regime and 60 days would not be enough for spreading awareness and educating about the new taxation system, he said. "Given the Constitutional obligation, we think that September 1 could be taken as roll out date for GST," he said.
Besides, he urged that the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to consider traders concerns so that anomalies could be removed. Since GST is a destination based taxation system and traders are the last mile connect with consumers, the views and comments of trade and commerce will go a long way in establishing GST as a best revenue model in the country, he said.