Letters to the editor

Published: October 29, 2015 12:29:20 AM

Minimal registration hurdles

Minimal registration hurdles

Apropos of the column by Mahesh C Purohit, “Registration hurdles make GST seem retrograde” (FE, October 23), seen as a whole, the observations made by the author are not as pungent or repulsive as to be summarised in a manner the headline suggests. Purohit himself appreciates that the new procedure would “help in checking corruption caused by intervention with tax officials”. He also adds: “It would be a good attempt at furthering the prospect of Digital India”. Registration is the most basic process to ‘Know Your Client’ in any tax regime. In this age of technology, people are not adverse to ‘registration’, given that use of most web-services demand registration with name, mobile number, email, etc. Unfortunately, however, seeking registration with excise, service tax or VAT authorities is widely believed to be plagued by irritants, including delays, hassles and misuse of discretionary powers by the tax officials. However, now that a non-governmental portal, the GST Common Portal, would issue the GST Identification Number (GSTIN), it should be a huge relief to the taxpayers. By any standard, this is a path-breaking reform. Whether the registration form suggested by the Joint Committee of State and Central Government official can be simplified, with separate forms for individuals, firms, companies, etc, deserves to be seriously looked into. There might be some truth in the size of the registration form having emanated from obsession of tax officials (part of the Joint Committee) seeking all sorts of details—some of which may not be necessary. It also needs to be said that people are happy with the procedure of obtaining PAN number. Should not the process of GST registration be as simple? That said, assuring registration the same way would be a boon—a registration guaranteed within three days is not all that ‘inefficient’.

TR Rustagi, New Delhi

Use Rajan’s expertise

Dr. Raghuram Rajan, the economist turned central banker, is now understood to have cautioned the world’s premier multilateral lending institution, the International Monetary Fund, to stop sitting on the sidelines and instead play an active role in questioning the easy money policies adopted by the developed economies. He is of the view that countries are putting these policies in place without consideration for the negative impact on the global economy. He is an acclaimed economist of international standing and is widely credited with having predicted the 2008 financial crisis. It is a boon that in these hours of crisis and mounting uncertainties, India is able to have his services. While the world at large is acknowledging and also reacting positively to his views expressed often, there is a however a feeling that policy makers in India will need to display greater receptivity and heed his clarion calls more proactively. I think the point is, so complex are the issues confronting the economy both at the international and national level, it is not easy for laymen policy-makers to understand his style of working and the mechanisms involved. His depth of understanding of global and national issues is amazing and that is what makes him a respected figure around the globe. India will need to seriously fall in line with his thinking and also respond in a much better manner for building a robust economy. The next task is to build on this with credible policy initiatives and take India to a higher position on the growth pedestal.

Srinivasan Umashankar, Nagpur

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