Day 1 of GST in Mumbai: Traders still unclear, but business as usual for buyers
Mumbai city news: Day 1 of India’s new tax system saw Mumbai’s traders confused and chartered accountants flooded with queries, but it was business as usual for buyers.mumbai Updated: Jul 01, 2017 18:43 IST
Day 1 of India’s new tax system saw Mumbai’s traders confused and chartered accountants flooded with queries, but it was business as usual for buyers.
The Centre launched the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at midnight. The single-tax system, called by many as India’s biggest tax reform, seeks to unify multiple taxes across the country and boost economic growth. But the launch came with its troubles.
Traders said they were unclear of how the system would work. “As it is just the beginning, there was a lot of confusion among traders. We are taking up the issue with the government,” said Mohan Gurnani, the chairman, Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT).
While hotels and restaurants switched to the new billing system on Friday night, owners said the new tax did not impact footfall on Saturday. “We may feel the impact from Monday, as this is a weekend,” said Arvind Shetty, the owner of Utsav Hotel at Juhu.
Wholesale cloth markets opened with little fanfare. Places like Mangaldas market and Swadeshi, whose traders went to strike recently to protest against GST, said the new tax will not help them. “There is tremendous unhappiness among the textile traders as this will spell doom to the sector,” said Raichand Binakiya, convenor, Joint Action Committee of Textile trade association. Under GST, textile prices are expected to rise by 8%-10 % .
Stainless steel and utensils markets saw sales go down. “There is no sale and even we are confused about this new tax,” said Sunil Parmar who owns S Kantilal and Sons.
Accountants were a bus lot on Saturday. “Our clients wanted to know how to change the billing pattern, traders complained their software was not been updated,” said Mukesh Panchal, the owner of a accountancy firm.
But, malls did brisk business as many of them stayed open past midnight.
The state acknowledged that there was confusion but said it was equipped to face the situation. Rajiv Jalota, the sales tax commissioner, who will no be Maharashtra’s GST commissioner, said, “We are setting up helpline numbers and organising seminars to make basic and technical details available.”
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is set to meet chartered accountants and traders, in an event organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), at Matunga on Saturday evening.
Sales tax department’s helpline:1800225900
The helpline has received 710 calls from across the state since Saturday morning.
Help desks at all cities. In Mumbai, there are two helpdesks — one at Mazagaon and the second at Bandra
Videos: The sales tax department will upload videos on its website to guide traders through technical issues