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In Poll-bound Gujarat, Traders Welcome GST Rate Cuts But Seek More Relief

Speaking to News18, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) vice-president Jayendra Tanna said that while any reduction in GST slab is a welcome move, the government has still not simplified the compliance system.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:November 11, 2017, 10:06 PM IST
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In Poll-bound Gujarat, Traders Welcome GST Rate Cuts But Seek More Relief
Ahmedabad: Members of Cloth Merchant Association protest over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: The reduction in GST rates on 178 items has been welcomed by traders' organisations in poll-bound Gujarat but they said the tax relief has been announced with the consumer in mind and there is very little in it for the business community.

Speaking to News18, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) vice-president Jayendra Tanna said that while any reduction in GST slab is a welcome move, the government has still not simplified the compliance system.

"Our problem is with the difficulties being faced in compliance. Moreover, the penalty being imposed for delayed uploading of information is also unfair, as the servers have not been working. Traders are still facing several difficulties and the GST Council ought to address compliance issues along with reducing GST rates," said Tanna, who is also the founder of Gujarat Vyapari Hit Rakshak Samiti, an umbrella organisation of traders across the state.

Gaurang Bhagat, President of the Ahmedabad Maskati Mahajan, a body of all textile markets of the city, welcomed the GST reduction from 28 percent to 18 percent on 178 items. "These are basically items that are used by people on a day to day basis. The semi-wholesale and retail traders will also benefit from these cuts," he said.

Asked if he thinks that the GST cuts have been put into force with the Gujarat Assembly elections in mind, Bhagat said it may not be the case because GST is being implemented across the country and the GST Council has members from across the political spectrum.

Embarking on the fourth phase of his Navsarjan Yatra from Chiloda in Gandhinagar district, Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi said that the relentless efforts of the people of Gujarat has forced the government to bring down the GST rate.

"It is a win for the people of Gujarat, who have protested and made the government realise its mistake. We demand that the 28 percent slab should be wiped out all together. If the government does not do this, the Congress will do it after coming to power," Rahul said.

In Ahmedabad, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attacked the Congress and asked how is the party taking credit for the tax cuts that have been brought into force the GST Council. "The Congress could not implement GST despite being in power for 10 years. The present government is responding to issues raised by the business community by reducing the rates. I do not understand why the Congress is taking credit for it," she said.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court on Friday, admitted a Public Interest Litigation, challenging the tax cuts effected by the GST Council. The PIL stated that at a time when election dates for Gujarat have been declared, any concessions will amount to violation of the code of conduct. The High Court is expected to hear the matter next week.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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