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GST on inter establishment supplies - A critique on the Columbia Asia Ruling!GST Council to meet on Sept 28 through video conferencing; Kerala Cess issue to dominate deliberations along with EPCG-related issuesRupee under Hammer! - India needs to brace up for more hardships!Supply of sheep/goat meat - Number of carcasses is of no importance to the Army as their contract is based on weight – supply does not qualify as product put up in ‘Unit container’: AAARGST applicable on liquidated damages under HSN 9997 as ‘Other services’ @18%: AAARConstruction of Solar Power Generating System – supply of said turnkey EPC falls within the definition of ‘Composite supply’ and is a ‘Works Contract’: AAARSetting up and operation of Solar Photovoltaic plant is Works Contract, taxable @18% GST: AAARSupplying food and beverages on the premises of industrial unit/office liable to GST @5% w.e.f 27.07.2018: AARService by commission agents to the agriculturists of turmeric is taxed to ‘Nil’ rate of GST: AARCattle feed in cake form is classifiable under CH 2309 9010 and is exempted: AAR'Disc Brake Pads' is classifiable under heading 8708 3000 as part of motor vehicle – to attract @28% GST: AARI-T - Purpose of scheme under which subsidy is given decides its true nature and sales tax subsidy for setting up new manufacturing unit is capital receipt: ITATRule 96(10) of CGST Rules- Devil lies in the AmendmentsFrom British Raj to Swaraj, Garbage Woes Inundate IndiaCX - Expression used in s.35 is 'presenting' as against 'entertain' in s.35F - as long as appeal is lodged within prescribed period of limitation, it cannot be dismissed on ground that mandatory pre-deposit was not made before expiry of limitation period: HCGST - DGGI nabs two businessmen in Rs 79 Cr tax caseSmall Savings Schemes - Govt notifies interest rates effective from Oct 1Disease Management - Govt ropes in Tata Trust & DellISRO to set up Emergency Response Control Room in MHA63 graded universities are 'cream of the cream', says JavadekarTourist inflow from USA never declined since 2010: GovtGST - ITC abuse - DGGI Gurgaon Unit books two companies for Rs 79 Crore tax evasionUSD 115 mn patent ruling against Samsung set aside by New York CourtSmall Savings Schemes - Govt notifies interest rates for various schemesACC appoints A Gitesh Sarma as Secretary (West) in MEAMaryland mass shooting at Rite Aid Distribution Centre - three killedPrabhu favours dedicated SEZ for Russian companiesED gets 3 months more to wrap up investigation in Aircel-Maxis scamACC grants nod for appointment of four GMs in Railways - P C Sharma for Metro Rail + P S Mishra for South Eastern + Ajay Vijayvergiya for West Central & Rajeev Chaudhry for North CentralCBIC notifies exchange rates for exports & imports purposesIndian economy to surpass USD 5 trillion mark by 2022: PMGovt decides to curb import of non-essential goods to reduce Current Account Deficit
The GST Practitioner - Part II


JULY09, 2018

By G Mohana Rao, Assistant Commissioner (Retd.)

ON the subject, in my earlier article, I had opined that the GST Practitioner scheme can play an important role in the implementation of GST. The minimum qualification for a GSTP is a degree in commerce. Besides, department can also allow any other examination also to be sufficient for granting enrolment as GSTP.

GSTP scheme, if nurtured well, could have been an excellent employment opportunity. In this direction, some effort appears to have been done. National Skill Council of India is training a large number of commerce graduates in GST so as to make them employable as GSTP. Some States are also working on this facet. Gujarat State has taken license as GST Suvidha Provider and are training thousands of persons having commerce degree under its "GST Saheli " project- slated as a bridge between GSTN and the taxpayer. The project is launched through Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Ltd (GLPC) and Self Help employment training institutes. The GLPC has also become a GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) and is providing GST related software and services for a fee to micro and small industries. The effort is laudable. However, it appears all this may not solve the issue. All efforts in this direction may go in vain. They may show the effort as their achievements, but real achievement is only when the scheme results in meaningful employments which appears to be not possible even remotely in the present situation. It's a pity that well intentioned efforts are wasted due to lack of proper planning. As they say- "Failure to plan is planning to fail".

If a product is not good enough, any amount of effort in marketing, showcasing etc. will not work. Movies with the best of actors, very high investments, and excellent marketing fail if the product itself is not good. There are numerous examples to it. First the product should be very good – marketing, etc. can work as further facilitator. The product- GSSTP/GSP itself is not lucrative enough to provide employment to a large number of people. In fact, the scheme appears to have been designed hurriedly without much thought going into it. GSTP can only file returns - other functions like registration, representing before government, amendments, filing refunds on behalf of registered persons etc are not there in their curriculum. Return mechanism itself has failed. From three returns or more per month, we are back to one return. The process and mechanism for the same too is yet to be finalised. The compliance work in GST regime appears to be a temporary work.

I am not able to convince a single person on the benefits of enrolling as GSTP. The companies are not likely to move away from their regular CAs to give work to GSTPs. There is an issue of privacy and data security as well. The companies may not be comfortable in sharing their data with these GSTPs for fear of losing the same to their competitors, since invoice level data is also to be submitted on the GST portal.

The GSTP scheme too appears to have fizzled out. The utility provided by GSTN is sufficient to file returns of a company having even one lakh invoices. Need for a GSTP is not there. In order to have linkages with GSTP, investments are required to be made. GSTP is not cost effective at all.

The government should first re-look into the whole scheme of GSTPs, make it lucrative enough so people, be it CAs, Advocates and commerce graduates- flock towards applying for the scheme, and then popularise the same through their outreach programmes so as to give it a semblance of success.

The government should come out with a viable GSTP scheme with proper software linkages between taxpayer, GSTP and GST portal so that proper risks and responsibilities can be fixed. If a GSTP is allowed to do other compliances through the GST portal and not through the via media of sharing of user id and password, being done by some companies- which itself is dangerous in terms of data security for companies themselves and trustworthiness of the GSTPs. The government should come out with detailed training modules, may be in collaboration with reputed educational institutions through their own institutions like NACIN, and improve the real skills of such persons so as to provide them real gainful employment. While doing so, they should be encouraged to sharpen their skills in accounting etc. as well. Further trainings should be a regular feature with minimum number of days/hours mandatory for every GSTP. The GSTP license to a person should bring a lot of trust and faith in the companies taking the services of such GSTPs like a good brand brings the confidence along with it. Of course, all this will take time and evolve over time. However, a beginning has to be made by creating a well-planned, discussed, deliberated and thought out scheme. Only then, such schemes can really convert the intentions intoreal benefits!!!

(The author is Managing Partner, Elysian Tax Advisors, Mumbai and the views expressed above are strictly personal.)

(DISCLAIMER : The views expressed are strictly of the author and doesn't necessarily subscribe to the same. Pvt. Ltd. is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage caused to anyone due to any interpretation, error, omission in the articles being hosted on the site)


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