University Holds Panel Discussion on Implementation Challenges of GST
BENGALURU / July 15, 2017 – Karnataka’s top financial experts assembled at Amrita University to discuss the roll out of GST and post-implementation challenges. The panellists included BT Manohar, Chairman, State Taxes Committee and GST Advisory Committee, Karnataka Government; KS Basavaraju, Jt. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (JCCT), Bengaluru; Subraya M Hegde, Trainer and Consultant, Fiscal Policy Institute, Govt. of Karnataka; and Ankit Mundra, Tax Head at Cloudtail (Amazon).
GST is one the biggest tax reforms of recent times. The magnitude of challenges in rolling out GST can be gauged from the fact that it took nearly 12 years to realize its implementation. Said BT Manohar, Chairman, State Taxes Committee and GST Advisory Committee, Karnataka Government: “GST is a very progressive reform of the indirect tax regime. As in the case of every new tax reform there may be challenges which the Government is addressing very satisfactorily. It is a myth that GST is leading to higher rate of taxes for many commodities. On the contrary, it has actually reduced the rate of tax for almost 80% of commodities. GST is going to be one of the most consumer friendly tax systems launched by the Government.”
Said KS Basavaraju, Jt. Commissioner ofCommercial Taxes (JCCT), Bengaluru: “Educating the consumers on GST is veryimportant. It should be done by the media and educational institutions. GST isnothing but VAT. All GST rates are recommended by the GST Council but these haveto be passed through the Parliament and state assemblies. The entire success ofthis is dependent on filing of R1 form which is due in the month of September.The Government is handholding all the stakeholders to guide them in filing thereturns seamlessly.”
Subraya M Hegde, Trainerand Consultant, Fiscal Policy Institute, Govt. of Karnataka, said that theexperience of GST roll out in Karnataka has been very smooth, with the statebeing ahead of others in transitioning to the new tax regime. However, severalchallenges exist which is being satisfactorily addressed. He added: “GST is nota new tax – it is an alternate tax. It is also a myth that GST is a complex taxsystem. It is much simpler and better than the earlier system. However, thereach and compatibility of Information technology infrastructure is achallenge. Filing returns as well as matching of input and output merchandiseare issues too. Initial problems are bound to be there when transition to a newtax regime happens, which the Government is seized of and proactively guidingall the stakeholders. Karnataka's preparation during the transition to VAT andits initiatives in computerization and training of officials have helped thestate tackle this transition in a satisfying manner.”The discussion was moderated by Dr. Deepika MG, Faculty ofEconomics, School of Business, Amrita University.