CAIT urges govt to set up district-level committees to address GST issues

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the government to form a Goods and Services Tax (GST) Coordination Committee at the district level, comprising senior officials and representatives of trade to facilitate small traders.

Leaders of trade associations from 23 states at their meeting today unanimously adopted a resolution to form district level committees for better co-ordination with the centre on matters related to GST.

The CAIT move comes amidst government's warning of penalties if new post-GST rates are not printed on the inventory in the interest of consumers.

CAIT said small traders, especially in rural areas are in a confused state due to lack of knowledge about the basic fundamentals of GST, which often result in procedural lapses, particularly in charging taxes or raising invoices.

"Down the line, precisely in smaller towns, traders are totally disturbed because they are not aware of the provisions of GST and what are their compliance obligations under GST. There are large number of disparities and contradictions," an IANS report quoted Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT, as saying.

"We are talking about a co-ordination committee because we should work up to at least the district level for the success of GST on a larger scale, since the awareness level is very minimal among smaller traders," he added.

"By and large, the trading community in the country has adopted GST taking it as a progressive taxation system. However, few verticals of retail trade have raised their concerns and issues which needs attention of the government and their holistic solution," a CAIT statement said.

"Government is also suggested to re-look at the category of products and services under tax slab of 28 per cent since many of the products deserve to be considered to move to lower tax bracket like auto spare parts and housing industry items," the statement said.

The CAIT also suggested to the government to hold "post-GST assessment meet" with trade and commerce bodies, both at the level of central government and also with state governments to understand ground issues.

Meanwhile, consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan today warned manufacturers that failure to print pos-GST prices on inventory would make them liable to pay penalties of up to Rs1 lakh.

Manufacturers have been allowed to clear the unsold stocks by September with new MRP using stickers.