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States seem ready for July 1 rollout of GST, though West Bengal says not

West Bengal FM Amit Mitra says small and medium enterprises are not prepared

BS Reporters 

MC candidate Amit Mitra celebrates his victory in West Bengal Assembly eections in North 24 Parganas
File photo of West Bengal FM Amit Mitra


Rollout of the national goods and services tax (GST) on July 1 seems almost certain but some states are not fully geared.

finance minister has sought postponement of the deadline, in a letter to Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley. He says small and medium enterprises are not prepared. Sources add that if this is so, it would prevent large enterprises from seeking input tax credit.

Mitra cited data from the Confederation of All India Traders to say that 70 per cent of small businesses are yet to adopt the needed technology. H K Dua, president of the Federation of Associations of Cottage and Small Industries, said it would make more sense to give a couple of months after the rates are announced. "Right now, there is hardly any preparedness."

Gujarat, credited with preparedness, claims 90.14 per cent of the 498,000 manufacturers, dealers and traders on the existing tax platform have migrated to Senior officials said the state was completely ready for July 1. Training of personnel across tax departments, GSTN, legal departments, etc, have been completed and 230 outreach programmes concluded in all major districts, including 15 in each of the major cities. These were meant to educate the trade associations, bar associations, etc.

Tamil Nadu also says 90 per cent of dealers have been brought under the new regime. The state has 601,000 dealers.

The government is preparing to soon place the needed legislation before the legislative assembly, the chief minister said. Infrastructure in terms of information technology customisation is done.

Karnataka claims to have been ready for over a year. A state commercial taxes official said most traders had enrolled for the new taxation system. "We have been educating our officials and traders and are far ahead of most states in being ready for the rollout," he said.

Telangana finance minister also said the state was fully prepared. "The government has completed all the legal and technical formalities for implementation. Staff engaged in the tax collection system have been given full training," he said.