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Maharashtra traders complain of faulty registration process for GST, high taxes on goods

Mumbai city news: Many traders said they had not received their GST number, while others said they had difficulty registering with the GST Network

mumbai Updated: Jul 01, 2017 09:42 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Goods and Services Tax,GST
BJP leaders Raj Purohit and Ashish Shelar at a rally celebrating the GST roll out on Friday.(Bhushan Koyande)

Hours before the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime was set to roll out at midnight, traders and trader groups in Mumbai said they were facing numerous administrative difficulties and technical glitches.

Above all, there was confusion about the tax brackets of various goods. The confusion extended to input/output credits and setoffs in the next chain of trading, among other issues, and left many traders angry and frustrated. Having admitted to the technical and administrative glitches, the government said it expected there to be some confusion over the next few days.

Many traders said they had not received their GST number, while others said they had difficulty registering with the GST Network. Though the government claims that 95% of the city’s eight lakh traders have registered under the new tax regime, thousands of new assesses are yet to do so. For many, the registration process was blighted by slow servers and crashes.

Smaller traders also had questions about their old stock and which tax or taxes would apply.

Ajit Joshi, a chartered accountant who works with traders, said, “The government uploaded the complete HSN code list for goods just yesterday. Last night alone, 51 new notifications were uploaded. How are we expected to read, understand and interpret these documents in such a short time?”

Many small traders said they were worried about the high tax rates on goods they sell. Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, said, “It is unbelievable that school bags, compass boxes and water colours will attract 28% GST, from a previous tax of 6%.”

Maharashtra’s sales tax department has established its compatibility with the GST Network. But it has been forced to keep the old format for filing returns as the centre has not yet finalised GST return formats.

Rajiv Jalota, Maharashtra Sales Tax commissioner, said, “The problem with the GST numbers was due to the duplication of provisional ID numbers and multiple PAN numbers. There are only 1,200-1,500 such cases left and we are sure these technical problems will be sorted out in eight days.” He said issues related to old stock and tax rates were being discussed.

Sudhir Mungantiwar, state finance minister, said, “We are all set to roll out GST from Saturday. It is difficult to say all compliances have been done as it’s a massive task. But I can day Maharashtra is ahead of other states.”

First Published: Jul 01, 2017 09:41 IST