How will Small Business Enterprises fare post transition to GST?
There is no denying fact that small business enterprises operating in Indian shores are finding transition to GST regime as highly problematic. These enterprises are finding it tough to invest in hardware and software as they still run their operations with hand-written books of accounts.
Small entrepreneurs have got very little time for their business these days as they are still trying to absorb the changes that GST is about to bring for them. There are a huge number of businessmen in the country that are looking for different ways of GST registration online as they are given a specific deadline to file returns as per the new format of GST.
In many of the states, the deadline for small business entrepreneurs and a transition into the new format is also coming closer.
- Increased paperwork
Many small entrepreneurs have said that they were initially happy when the GST rate in India was proposed as it was promoted as a tax bill that did not have any kind of state boundaries. Now, they have come to a realization that uploading documents requires a lot of time and also a lot of time to understand.
Explaining their quandary, some of them have said that even the e-way bill that was required to make their goods to move from point Y to point Z is a very time-consuming task in itself. While there is no denying the fact that the returns have to be filed electronically through a common portal, certain confusions still continue to exist. It is a pervasively learning process and the businessmen require a certain level of handholding so that it does not become a headache for them.
Some of the small-time inter-state equipment exporters have said that their goods are sent by air and road. They are of an opinion that GST has not made it any easier for the free movement of goods. These exporters also refer to the initial talks that made many of the people to thinks that implementation of GST would mean the end of various check-posts that are there in a “one country, one tax system”. But, what it would actually do is that it would generate a unique e-way bill on the GST portal for each and every transaction. The problem for such exporters arises when they transport multiple types of goods in a single truck that can certainly be flagged down by any state despite the fact that the truck is just passing their shores.
- Drafting of rules on transit
GST draft has been responsible for laying down the rules pertaining to the inspection of goods and services in transit. If a consignment in a truck is going from Chennai to Delhi, the contents inside the truck can be checked at any check-post in any State that falls in the way, but cannot be stopped multiple times in the same State. For example, if the contents of a truck are verified in Nagpur, the same truck carrying the consignment cannot be checked again inside the boundaries of Maharashtra State. But, this is also an area of concern for these traders who have done GST registration online as they understood that the e-way bill was just like a pass for free movement. But, if the truck carrying the consignment is asked to stop at every entry and exit checkpoints, it will create a huge hindrance in delivery and the story would be just like the old times.
With multiplicity in forms as per different slabs for GST rate in India, the implementation of GST does not look to have succeeded in doing away with such practices. On the flip side, it has only created more complexities in the process of shipment of goods.
With small business enterprises having done GST registration online, it enables them to upload a form on one common platform for every small transaction. This means that small business entities with regular transactions would be required to hire a dedicated resource that will always be active on the GST portal set up by CBEC. The traffic expected on the GST portal is going to be soaring at all times. This would eventually lead to an increment in compliance costs. This is not a feasible option for a small-time entrepreneur and it is bound to impact hem adversely.
Many experts from various industries are also expecting initial hiccups, especially for those entities that are still maintaining an inventory that is rolled over from previous financial year. Some of the professional companies have taken the initiative to guide these companies to have a seamless transition for them.