CAIT comes down heavily on GST system
The biggest traders’ body, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) came down heavily on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and said that in four years of implementation, the GST has become a colonial taxation system, not compatible with the ground realities of business conducted in India and available resources with the traders. The CAIT President B C Bhartia and secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss with traders about the current chaos in the GST system and find a solution to make the new tax system more business-friendly. They said that now the taxation system and its procedures are much against the declared spirit of GST as Good & Simple Tax.
The CAIT leaders said that various amendments and the introduction of Rules under GST in the recent past have made the taxations system very complicated and put much compliance burden on the traders. It is not just the Central Government but largely the State Governments too that are distorting the GST taxation system and bringing disparities and anomalies in GST making it a more complex system and a big headache for the traders.
The CAIT leaders said that they wish to resolve these and other core issues by way of dialogue with the Finance Minister.
GST Portal challenges
The trade body leaders said that even after 4 years of GST implementation in India, the GST portal created and made by Infosys is still struggling with many challenges. “The rules are amended but the portal fails to update the said amendments in a timely manner. So far no National Appellate Tribunal has been constituted. No Central Advance Ruling Authority has been constituted giving a free hand to States to interpret the law in their own way distorting the fundamentals of “One Nation-One Tax“. The GST authorities are more interested in GST compliance but never thought that a large chunk of traders in the country are yet to adopt computerization in their existing business format and no step has been taken to equip the traders with computers etc.,” said the leaders pointing out their difficulties in handling the GST network, which is still facing troubles for the past four years.
Bhartia and Khandelwal said that in the recent past, the GST Council has thrown all canons of natural justice by empowering the authorities to cancel the GST Registration of any trader without giving him any notice or an opportunity of being heard. Unfettered and arbitrary powers are given to officers without realizing the misuse of such powers which may lead to corruption. “The GST law has been greatly distorted by the authorities which are evident from the fact that since the date of GST implementation till 31st May, more than a thousand notifications have been issued and interestingly the traders have not been allowed to rectify their returns even for once. In such a situation how can we expect traders for timely compliance of the taxation system?,” they asked.
The CAIT leaders said that they wish to resolve these and other core issues by way of dialogue with the Finance Minister. Similarly, the issue will also be taken up with State Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers. We are more inclined to join hands with the Government in widening the tax base, increase in revenue but with simplification and rationalization of tax structure, they said.
 CANCELLATION OF GST REGISTRATION WITHOUT ISSUING SCN IS VIOLATION OF PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL JUSTICE – Dec 14, 2018, Study Cafe
 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman fumes at Infosys for glitches in Income Tax portal – Jun 14, 2021, PGurus.com
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