The prospective implementation of GST in India seems to have pushed the country and its people into a state of confusion and apprehension. But we need to understand that the introduction of this new law is not an action which will cause mayhem, but a step that will in the long run, make India an internationally competitive market – a market where different states will no longer have different laws but instead would be governed by the same indirect tax regime.
GST, indeed is a new concept for India. But it is not a new concept in itself. Over the last sixty three years, since it was first introduced in France in 1954, almost 165 countries have implemented this tax regime. Therefore, we may say that it is a revolutionary concept, but not a new one. By “not a new” here, I imply that it is neither new on the duality of control aspect, nor on the legal front.
Finance Minister of the state Sh Himanta Biswa Sarma said the chief minister wanted Assam to become the first state to pass the amendment, as this would send a positive signal to industry.
The introduction of GST will prove to be immensely friendly to the consumers by reducing the prices of commodities as a result of rationalization of taxes. On the other hand, it will contribute to ease of doing business in India. A person sitting in Punjab will no longer be required to know what rules of indirect taxes govern Kerala; and laws in Assam won’t bother a businessman in Maharashtra anymore – as across the nation, a single taxation system would prevail. Initial one year no barriers is a welcome step and the performance and conduct of stake holders will decide the future of this reform.
But to think that change should be as smooth as silk is much more than mere wishful thinking. Change will always bring with itself resistance from some quarters, and even hardships for some people. Yet change is the law of nature. Reinhold Niebuhr has rightly said, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This aptly describes the present situation of all stake holders.
The implementation of GST is now an inevitable change. Time is running fast, and we have to keep pace with it. As businessmen, we need to be familiar with this law because we cannot afford to have our businesses interrupted. As professionals, we have to understand this act to properly guide the people who rely upon us.
Therefore, if you still have not acclimatized yourself to the provisions, start now. If you are working on it, improve now. It is never too late.
I wish you all a Happy transition to Happier times.