The GST Co­nun­drum

Apparel - - Contents -

Stake­hold­ers at the 66th NGF of­fer their opin­ions on GST

For close to seven months, the In­dian Tex­tile In­dus­try is ad­just­ing to the New Rules of Trans­ac­tion and Tax­a­tion, as laid out by the GST Coun­cil. Kash­mira Mirza and Amanda D’Souza talk to the Stake­hold­ers on the ground about how this has im­pacted the In­dus­try’s busi­ness and ask them about what lays ahead for the Sec­tor. “The tax slabs should have been equally im­posed on all cat­e­gories of gar­ments. Hav­ing dif­fer­ent slabs is con­fus­ing and in­con­ve­nient. The 12 per cent slab has caused us to face a few losses in busi­ness. In my opin­ion, 5 per cent is a per­fect slab for the gar­ment in­dus­try. We are hope­ful that the Union Budget will make this nec­es­sary change. Our as­so­ci­a­tion (CMAI) is fight­ing hard to make it hap­pen and I’m pos­i­tive that their ef­forts will yield success.”

NILESH THAKKER, Noddy

“So far, the ex­pe­ri­ence with the GST has been good, although the vast amount of pa­per­work is a bit te­dious. But, ul­ti­mately it is a ben­e­fi­cial pol­icy. Firstly, it reg­u­lates in­put credit. Se­condly, it makes all trans­ac­tions trans­par­ent and well-doc­u­mented. I’m hop­ing that they will get the en­tire in­dus­try un­der the 5 per cent slab.” ABHIK BORICHA, Laxmi Wear

“OUR BUSI­NESS HASN’T VIS­I­BLY SUF­FERED. THE OVER­ALL EX­PE­RI­ENCE HAS BEEN POS­I­TIVE. THE 5 PER CENT SLAB IS THE BEST FOR THE WHOLE TEX­TILE IN­DUS­TRY, HOPE­FULLY THE UNION BUDGET MAKES THIS CHANGE SOON.” SUBASH VADALIA, NBA

“GST is one of the most won­der­ful things to have hap­pened to In­dia. For those who are hon­est busi­ness­peo­ple, this is a very good pol­icy. In my opin­ion, the ones com­plain­ing are the dis­hon­est folk, with all due re­spect to the ones who are un­happy. As far as crit­i­cisms go, GST is an amal­ga­ma­tion of all the pre­vi­ously ex­ist­ing taxes. In­stead of VAT, ex­cise and ser­vice tax, we have to only deal with one GST. The un­for­tu­nate part is that they took the worst of all the laws. They went the ex­cise way – and ex­cise is a com­pli­cated tax. For ex­am­ple, we have dif­fer­ent slabs for cashew nuts and dif­fer­ent for al­monds. Why couldn’t they have made a com­mon tax for all dry fruits? For the tex­tile in­dus­try, dif­fer­ent clothes with dif­fer­ent fab­rics have var­i­ous HSM codes – why? A gar­ment is a gar­ment. I even un­der­stand cat­e­gori­sa­tion by price value. But why com­pli­cate mat­ters by split­ting hairs over whether the gar­ment is made of vis­cose or cot­ton – who cares? They should have sim­pli­fied it, in­stead of fol­low­ing the pat­tern of ex­cise. This is the only crit­i­cism I have, though. Apart from this, it is a great sys­tem – a beau­ti­ful con­cept and a beau­ti­ful law. For ex­am­ple, we hail from Pune. We had four taxes: lo­cal body tax, sales tax, ex­cise, ser­vice tax. Now we have only one tax: GST. When I had to ship some­thing to Kan­pur, I had to pay for a road per­mit. Now, un­der GST – the whole coun­try is one mar­ket. The pop­u­la­tion was hood­wink­ing the govern­ment, which is why the govern­ment had to im­pose GST. We want the In­spec­tor Raj to go away. But is our be­hav­iour so good that we don’t need polic­ing? There are some things that re­quire gen­eral com­pli­ance if things are to go smoothly.” AJIT THADANI, Re­tail­ware Soft­ware

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