BENGALURU: The new tax regime under goods and services tax (GST) will be rolled out across the country on Saturday.
As on date, all the states and Union territories have ratified the GST Act, except Jammu & Kashmir.
However, while states are legally ready to implement GST, industry experts foresee technology glitches for its implementation. Many were of the opinion that the government is not yet ready to take the plunge.
In the beginning of June, several states were still sitting on the legislation, the finance ministry made it clear that both traders and consumers in states that have not passed the Act would suffer losses as these states would not get the benefit of input tax and they would have to pay the tax twice, which will eventually make products more expensive.
Apart from passing the GST Bill, all states are directly dependent on the Union government GST compatible technology. The Centre, has delegated this task to the GST Network.
Karnataka’s IT & Biotechnology minister Priyank M Kharge said the Centre had assured a unified technological interface for rolling out GST and the state governments were banking on the same. The Karnataka government has conducted several meetings with industry bodies to create awareness about GST. However, when it comes to the technology aspect, the government is dependent on the GST Network, he said.
The GSTN portal will be at the front-end of the GST IT ecosystem for all taxpayers across the country. Third party technology enablers categorised as GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) and Application Service Providers (ASP) are also part of the GST technology interface ecosystem.
Until now, no one has vetted the system created by these technology enablers and this could turn out to be a major hurdle for GST implementation, according to industry experts.
The 38 GST Suvidha Providers have created minimum infrastructure. “You have a very key member in the whole scheme of things whose application has not been tested,” said P Venkatesh, director - platforms and solutions at Maveric Systems.
“We would not be surprised that they are neither fully equipped technically nor are they confident about handling the transition. Do we still go ahead with the rollout? If priority be given to quality in this implementation, then obviously ‘No’ is the answer. However, if time is the most critical factor in this implementation, then the answer will be ‘Yes’; which would also mean the necessity of a large team to address all those teething issues,” Venkatesh observed.