On completion of four years of GST implementation in India on Thursday, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that, much against the declared spirit of GST as Good & Simple Tax, GST (goods and services tax) has become a 'colonial taxation system' not compatible with the ground realities of business conducted in India and available resources with the traders.
Various amendments and introduction of rules under GST in the recent past have made the taxation system much complicated and put more compliance burden on the traders.
It is not the Central government alone but largely the state governments are more responsible for distorting GST taxation system and bringing disparities and anomalies in GST making it a more complex system and a big headache for the traders, said CAIT.
CAIT said that even after four years of GST implementation in India, the GST portal is still struggling with many challenges.
The rules are amended but the portal fails to update with said amendments timely. So far, no National Appellate Tribunal has been constituted. No Central advance ruling authority has been constituted giving a free hand to states to interpret the law in their own way distorting the fundamentals of 'One Nation-One Tax'.
The GST authorities are more interested in GST compliance but never thought that a large chunk of traders in the country are yet to adopt computerisation in their existing business format and no step has been taken to equip the traders with computers, etc.
CAIT said that in the recent past, the GST Council has thrown all canons of natural justice by empowering the authorities to cancel GST registration of any trader without giving him any notice or an opportunity of hearing. Unfettered and arbitrary powers are given to officers without realising the misuse of such powers which may lead to corruption.
"The GST law has been greatly distorted by the authorities which is evident from the fact that since the date of GST implementation till 31st May, more than thousand notifications have been issued and interestingly the traders have not been allowed to rectify their returns even for once. In such a situation how can we expect traders for timely compliance of the taxation system."
At the 4-year mark, only 45% citizens give thumbs up to the transition to GST, 29% unhappy with it, a survey by Local Circles said.
The survey sought to know how as consumers' would rate the 4 years of GST in India. In response, 15% said 'excellent', 30% said 'good', and 16% said 'average'.
Breaking down the poll, 9% of consumers rate the 4 years of GST as 'below average', 20% said 'poor', and 7% said it made no difference to them, while 3% did not have an opinion. On an aggregate basis, only 45% of consumers gave thumbs up to the transition to GST, while 29% are unhappy with it.
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