One year of GST from a British Business Perspective

By Divya Dwivedi

Since GST implementation in July 2017, a lot of developments have happened at the procedural level. As we move along, the procedures for filing returns, tax credit, and e-way bills are increasingly being streamlined. It has been a joint effort by business and government, and therefore there is praise for both sides. But, a lot still needs to be done.

At a UK India Business Council Leadership Insight Programme gathering on 22 August, our members reflected on some of the recent developments that have resulted from GST implementation.

The key discussions evolved around the use of a far more superior, technology-driven method of tracking the movement of goods and the beneficial impact of this on the economy. Despite the initial technical glitches, harassment, and even deficiencies in the dedicated internet platform, our members felt that the system has evolved substantially and that GST has turned out to be well worth the effort. Correcting errors, inbuilt glitches, and even a flawed design in the GST network as the time passed, the authorities seem to have got their act together. Members seemed hopeful that going forward any major complaints about its implementation can be better handled through adoption of a greater collaborative approach, involving the industry in the feedback process.

Other issues raised by our members were more clarity on cross-charges, the elimination of the Tax Deduction at Source scheme, and a tax exemption for e-commerce operators as they are a service provider rather than a goods producer.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prashant Kumar, CEO, GSTN, said that the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) can become the information technology backbone of the new indirect tax regime. Apart from filing multiple returns online in a financial year, businesses will have to submit various other documents, including receipts and reconciliations, which will generate a lot of data, and is a positive sign, representing India’s macroeconomic growth towards digitalisation.

UK India Business Council applauds the steps India has taken in creating a uniform tax for goods, but will continually push for improvement by advocating for these changes to be made, to help continue the business environment and help UK companies thrive in India.

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