Editorial: GST: Need for clarity


Now that the new tax regime Goods and Services act (GST), is a reality-the trade community is left with no other option then to get their units and business outlets registered immediately to avoid any major fallout.

What is being currently witnessed in the state is that the trader community is still in a state of confusion and shock. The major distributors have their godowns and ware houses totally empty as no fresh stock has made its entry into the state during the past three weeks.

The situation is so alarming that a C&F agent who deals with major FMCG products including baby food, is telling us that the baby food items have run totally out of stock as no fresh stocks are even billed for the current month. Hence, they are not in a position to replenish the stocks in case the retailers come with a fresh order.

The problem, according to the wholesale dealers lies in Delhi or other places from where they book their orders as the new GST regime software is yet to be upgraded by the manufacturers.

In such a scenario no billing is taking place and the stocks that have been available in the market are running short of fresh supplies. The ensuing scenario will result in a chaos as hapless consumers will be confronted with a crisis like situation in the coming one week.

 It’s ironic that the state government, albeit totally in know of this messy situation is doing very little to be prepared for any eventuality. The government machinery here is busy in getting the requisite numbers, in terms of dealers who are getting registered under the GST regime.  

The state sales tax machinery and the general administration has taken no step at all to confront any situation that may arise due to non-arrival of fresh stocks in the market.  

Pertinently, the Government functionaries at District Level should have taken traders, businessmen, small scale industries and consumers on board for smooth transition from VAT to GST regime. The government departments like the sales tax should have set immediate operational target to achieve cent percent registration of businesses under GST and a mechanism should have been drawn towards successful implementation of the new tax regime in the state.

It has been reliably learnt that the government is setting a target for the district administrations to achieve these targets by mid August and officials have been asked to mobilize work force to orient traders and consumers about the benefits of GST besides addressing their apprehensions.

The State Government has also proposed use of Khidmat Centres as GST updating centres to supplement local traders and simplify the transition to GST for them. Special capsule courses are also to be introduced to train necessary work force and provide them facilities at Khidmat Centres.

However, amid all this noise and claims of achievement, the government has forgotten one major issue. The issue that is confronting the trade community is the existing stocks that are lying with the traders and the request for availability of input tax credit on existing stocks.

The government so far has not been able to respond to the traders about this demand. This at present should be the focus of the administration.

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