Industry chamber Assocham today demanded postponing GST implementation, saying that taxpayers will find it difficult to comply with the provisions of the new indirect tax regime as the IT network is not yet ready. In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Assocham said existing assessees have not yet migrated to the GSTN portal due to reasons like non-familiarity with IT tools as well as registration process. It said that during the current phase of GST migration for existing assessees, the server was constantly under maintenance. “This raises huge question as to whether the IT infrastructure has been appropriately tested. It also raises questions as to whether this system can survive in the GST era when it had undergone maintenance during the second phase of migration when the traffic was restricted only to migration,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
There are at present about 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees, of which 64.35 lakh have already migrated to the portal of GST Network — the company readying the IT backbone for GST regime. Migration window, which closed on June 15, will again open on June 25. There were reports of traders complaining of glitches in the GSTN software for migration.
The industry chamber said that since the online return forms prepared by the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) will be ready only by end-June, there would be no tie left for the dry run with the revised IT software. “This being the status of preparedness of the GSTN, the taxpayers would find it very difficult to comply with GST requirements from July 1, 2017… We believe that industry deserves some more time and assistance to get prepared for GST implementation,” Assocham said.
The GST is scheduled to be rolled out from July 1 and tax rates have already been fixed for almost all goods and services. The GST Council, chaired by Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, will meet tomorrow to finalise rules on e- way bill and anti-profiteering provisions as well as review rates on certain items.