The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India on Saturday asked the Finance Ministry to postpone the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, PTI reported. In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Assocham said since the information technology network was not yet ready, taxpayers will find it difficult to comply with the provisions of the new indirect tax regime.
“It has been stated that certain deficiencies in the return formats resulting in glitches in operation of GSTN were detected during a beta test done about a month back,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said in the letter said, according to IANS. “Consequently, the return formats were completely revised, which in turn led to certain major changes in the IT software... This raises huge question as to whether the IT infrastructure has been appropriately tested.”
The GST is scheduled to be rolled out from July 1. Tax rates have already been fixed for almost all goods and services. Assocham’s demand comes just two days after the Civil Aviation Ministry had asked the Finance Ministry to put off the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax by two months.
Assocham said existing assessess were unfamiliar with IT tools as well as the registration process and had not yet migrated to the Goods and Services Tax Network portal. It said the server was constantly under maintenance during the current phase of GST migration for existing assessees.
Out of the 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees, 64.35 lakh have already migrated to the portal of GST Network. The migration window closed on June 15, but will open again on June 25. Traders were also complaining about bugs in the GSTN software for migration, it was reported.
Assocham said there would be no time left for the dry run with the revised IT software since the online return forms prepared by GSTN will be ready only by June end.
“This being the status of preparedness of the GSTN, the taxpayers would find it very difficult to comply with GST requirements from July 1, 2017... We believe that industry deserves some more time and assistance to get prepared for GST implementation,” Assocham said.
The rules on e-way bill and anti-profiteering provisions as well as the rates on certain items will be reviewed by the GST Council when they meet on Sunday. The GST council is chaired by Jaitley and comprises state finance ministers.