Gujarat traders have welcomed the changes in GST structure, but have urged the Centre to “improve filing services” on war footing. Nitesh Patel, secretary general of Federation of Gujarat Industries, said GST Council’s decisions were “mindful of the concerns raised by traders again and again”.
“Issues, such as waiving of reverse charge mechanism till March, bringing down monthly filing of forms, woes of the furniture market and cases where even unregistered restaurants were charging customers 18%, were taken up by the council, which is good.The government is positive.
But the system often fails, especially during rush hour. That needs a major rejig.” Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) VP Jayendra Tanna said the relaxations brought in by the government are significant, but “are temporary and not holistic”. “The server and system need to be simplified first to prevent panic.” Sanjay Jagnani, ex-president of the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association, said the relaxation was welcome, but were more for the benefit of voters and not traders.
“We wanted some more exemptions in the number of times the returns are filed. In small towns and villages internet connectivity is poor. There are power cuts. We had asked for relief from e-way.” Tanna said the issue became political, but Congress should have raised it with more clarity. “There is no doubt that the opposition raised it, but problems of filing have not been taken up seriously.”
GCCI member Bhargav Thakkar said: “It will take time for trade to be back in shape. Many items are still taxed heavily. To help traders, technical problems must be solved and overall infrastructure must be improved.”
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