As the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday finally took up discussion on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moving it for consideration and passage, industry stakeholders welcomed the move but also expressed some concerns.
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram batted for 18 per cent GST rate during the debate.
Here are the voices of the industry stakeholders:
* Chairman, India Retail Forum and President & CEO Walmart India, Krish Iyer
“Passing of the GST bill today in Rajya Sabha is an extremely progressive step and long awaited one. GST is one of the critical tax reforms which has potential to create one single market in India for goods & services and will boost country’s economy significantly.”
“Implementation of GST will reduce transaction cost of doing business, also reduce food wastage and bring down prices. Hence I am confident that it will not only bring relief to the consumers, but also help retail sector and building supply-chain efficiencies in India in a big way. This is thus a win-win legislative reform for all,” he added.
* Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director, Shoppers Stop Ltd
“We are indeed very happy to witness the historic passing of the GST bill in the Rajya Sabha and hope to see a quick roll-out as per the intended deadline of April 1, 2017. The GST bill will ease the current cumbersome taxation web and will enhance operational efficiency thereby resulting in cost and time savings. This bill will transform India’s $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion consumers into a single seamless market for the first time making it a win-win for the economy, industry and the consumer.”
“It is now important to quickly calibrate and finalize the rates on multiple categories without impacting Retail Price in a big way.”
“Having said that, from a retailer’s standpoint, the icing on the cake would be, if a preferred status is given to ‘Fashion and Apparel’ within the GST framework. Without knowing the Rates it is difficult to calibrate the savings or gains. We will be ready to comply with GST as per Government deadlines.”