GST Remains A Work In Progress In Telangana

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Hyderabad: Goods and Service Tax (GST) has done quite well, yet it remains a work in progress, a Telangana government official said today. He said this after inaugurating a national conclave on GST organised here by Assocham. ''After one year of implementation of GST, there are certain glitches in the network that need to be resolved.

GST has done quite well...but I see the second year will bring more stabilisation, Principal Secretary (Commercial Taxes and Excise) Somesh Kumar said. ''Though there are issues and concerns like invoice- matching which was one of the highlights of GST, the GST network (GSTN) has not been able to provide this facility,'' he said.

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''We also want to do lot of data analytics in Telangana but we do not get the full data as we would like from the GSTN,'' he said. The official hailed the GST Council for showing lot of maturity with rapid response on emerging needs. However, he said he has his reservations on the GST network. He said,''The GST Council should have done better. Today, if there is any criticism of GST it is not on GST per se, it is on GSTN network, and its inability to respond to various problems.''

The Principal Secretary said everyday he has to sign a notification on GST and there were more than 30 notifications a month. ''I hope this will become minimal as GST crosses its one year,'' he said. He further said there was an increase in compliance burden especially for small businesses and the GST Council has been working on simplification of returns.

Similarly, there was the need for rationalisation of rates of tax/slabs, but it takes time and refunds have not become seamless and exporters were suffering, he said. Telangana has seen a rise in GST revenue, he said, adding that from July 2017 to June 2018, the revenue was Rs 23,014 crores (post-GST) compared to the period from July 2016to June 2017 when it was Rs 19,955 crores (pre-GST).

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The official said the number of registrations in GST has risen by 37.38 per cent,though many people were not filing returns and it is linked with difficulties particularly the small taxpayers. He said there was an increase in total revenue in commercial taxes - Rs 42,054 crores in 2017-2018 as against Rs 35,232 crores in 2016-2017. All the departments need to change their mindset, Kumar said, adding: ''We have to get a new set of skills as well as knowledge. Most importantly, there should be regular interaction on GST with stakeholders.''

Chairman of Assocham National Council on Indirect Taxes Nihal Kothari said, Though the implementation phase has now settled, we still have not reached the stage where all tax issues have been resolved or addressed.'' The expectations of the trade and industry from GST have not yet been met, he added. Assocham secretary-general D S Rawat too said there was a need for frequent interactions and knowledge-sharing to understand and address unresolved issues related to GST. (PTI)

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