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FFFAI urges for more clarity on services sector

A year after the introduction of the historic revolutionary tax regime, Goods and Services Tax (GST), it is but proper that the effect of GST, adverse and advantageous, must be looked into for the interest of the industry and of the common people. A very intricate complex tax system which is purportedly implemented in haste as it is pointed out by many experts is likely to have some issues still needing attention and redressal.


The Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) has come out with a fair and just analysis of GST and its impact on the industry. First of all, it highly   commends the government of India for its firmness to implement the much-delayed tax reform from July 1, 2017. It has positively impacted the manufacturing, ex-im trade and logistics industry. The introduction of E-way Bill has further enhanced the transport sector’s efficiency and the removal of check posts has definitely improved transit times and consequently rationalised costs. But it is found that some of erstwhile check ‘nakas’ are not very happy with the measure and try to create hurdles by random stoppage of trucks, especially of consolidated movements, it pointed out in a release.


There are some areas of concern that require to be addressed. "After completion of one year of GST, we can say that it has matured to a great extent in terms of filing of returns. However, for services sector, export services have not been defined adequately. For example, refund application for similar export service is viewed differently by officials at different locations, resulting in unnecessary review applications," said Mr S. Ramakrishna, Vice-Chairman, FFFAI.


He also maintained that the concept of GSTR-1, 2 and 3 should have been continued so that auto reconciliation through the system could have happened. He urged for doing away with human intervention, which is, in fact, the intention and vision of the present government at the Centre. "Issues pertaining to taxes on goods are more or less resolved and are being settled in the regular GST Council meetings. Our sincere request to the Council is to redefine the export services so that there is no scope of ambiguity and hassles to service providers," the FFFAI Vice-Chairman appealed.


It is also pertinent to mention that the technology support from GSTN, which is the backbone to successfully implement and carry out the tax revolution in India, has to be well-structured and streamlined. "As the Finance Secretary of India, Mr Hasmukh Adhia, assured in his very recent statement, we are looking forward to the next GST Council meeting for some pragmatic decision on service sector, GSTN and other issues," Mr Ramakrishna added.


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