On the eve of crucial meeting of GST Council scheduled to be held tomorrow at New Delhi for approval of GST rules and rate slabs, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has strongly pitched for an interim period from 1st July,2017 to 31st March,2018 during which no penal action should be taken against traders for any procedural lapses. The preparedness at the level of small businesses is at a very low stage and about 60% of traders across Country have yet to adopt digital technology for GST compliance and as such interim period will give ample opportunity to the traders to understand GST Law, Rules & Regulations in its true spirit and also compliance related issues which we may occur from time to time during GST operation in the Country. Of course, CAIT is not averse for taking action against any habitual offender-said Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT today.

The CAIT has already submitted its representation to Prime Minister and Finance Minister urging for declaration of an interim period.

CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia said that there are strong overlaps with the needs of millions of consumers all through the country as far as fitment of GST rates are concerned.It has, however, perhaps inadvertently resulted in bracketing items pertaining to either mass consumption  or similar to raw material items, daily use products, health or food items in slabs which are higher than where they should be placed. This may augur well for revenues but may fly contrary to the Government’s larger public policy and  objective of enlarging the scope of tax net in the Country. In absence of any direct inter-action with the trading community, several confusions are being occured due to unauthorised or misleading propaganda about GST.

With job creation perhaps being the single most important contemporary challenge infront of the Government, it’s only prudent that the legitimate concerns of the 5.7 cr strong trading community in India be looked at and addressed. Infact, there are genuine livelihood concerns involved which should be taken care of before a tectonic policy shift such as the transition to the GST regime can be actualized.

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