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GST: Small traders yet to adopt digital technology; demand delay in roll out

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the government to postpone the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST), citing the reason that small businesses are yet to adopt the required digital technology. CAIT said that it would prefer the roll out of GST on September 1, as 70% of small businesses are not yet prepared for it.

Referring to the proposed roll out of GST on July 1, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that this timeline would give only around 60 days to small businesses, which would be insufficient. “Accordingly, the deadline of GST implementation from July 1, may be deferred for a reasonable time and meanwhile a nationwide campaign for mass awareness on GST may be conducted involving trade associations all over the country,” he said.

CAIT’s concerns appear genuine since GST is predominantly a technology intensive taxation system, which requires compliance through digital platforms. Moreover, since GST is a destination based taxation system, the needs of small traders who provide the last mile connect with consumers, should be carefully evaluated by the government. “Given the Constitutional obligation, we think that September 1 could be taken as roll out date for GST,” said Khandelwal.

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