The industry reacts to GST rollout

ST CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pune: On the occasion of the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Saturday, industry heads reacted in various ways, some calling it a game-changer and others saying they were simply happy about it.

Pune: On the occasion of the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Saturday, industry heads reacted in various ways, some calling it a game-changer and others saying they were simply happy about it.

Retailers Association of India (RAI)
We acknowledge the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a game-changer for the retail industry. It is a giant step forward for India to create uniformity of taxes across the country. We believe GST is more about change in management than taxation?, this is undoubtedly one of the biggest exercises in changing management till date for team India. Almost everything we have learnt as citizens of this country with respect to indirect taxes will have to be quickly unlearned to welcome an era of one country one tax.

Jagannath MS, CFO Columbia Asia Hospitals 
GST legislation is a laudable effort of the government. The government has exempted Healthcare services from the levy of GST and therefore there will be no taxes paid by patients for services rendered by hospitals. The rates of GST on several inputs used in Hospitals are increasing from July 1, 2017. By principles of GST, an exempt service cannot avail input credits. As healthcare is an exempt service such increase in taxes on inputs would increase the overall cost for the hospitals and thus will increase the overall cost of healthcare. We have represented to the Government through several business forums to either levy GST at a lower rate or to provide a ?zero? rate of GST for healthcare services to offset any input credit or to claim the refund of GST and hence will also keep healthcare costs at the existing levels.

Nithin Kamath, Zerodha Trading; Founder and CEO
As far as trading and investments in the capital market are concerned, I do not think GST will have a great impact. The service tax charged on 'brokerage and transaction charges' will increase from current 15% to 18%. However, brokerage charges on equity delivery are zero with Zerodha, hence the impact of 18% increase will not really burden our customers. At a broader level, the GST roll out is a huge positive for the country. Agreed, the initial few months can be chaotic with the clarity needed on many fronts. However, in the long run, GST is the way forward.

Kamal Nandi, Business Head and EVP, Godrej
The consumers can look up to a marginal rise in cost for the existing stock as well as for new stock made from the raw material that has already been purchased. The tax slab on electronic items has been raised to 28 per cent due to which a price rise is imminent in the future. Down the line, the prices will get lower but that will also depend on the global market. As of now, there will be a rise in price by one to two percent.

Roland Folger, MD & CEO Mercedes-Benz India
Mercedes-Benz India was the first luxury car maker which has been passing to the consumers, the direct GST benefits since May 26. We are looking forward to this simplified tax structure which will create a single market across India and benefit both the buyer and the seller. There may be initial teething issues but we are confident that there will be promising long-term gains. We are encouraged with the rising enquiries and increased footfall at our dealerships and are confident of continuing with our positive growth momentum.

Yogesh Bellani, CEO, FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd
The FMCG industry is ready to see vitalization in the coming time with the rollout of GST. The rates for most of the fast moving consumer goods have been kept on the expected lines keeping in mind their mass consumption pattern. The packaged juices, ketchup and sauces will fall under the tax slab of 12% whereas products like pasta and noodles, mayonnaise, salad dressings and mixed condiments will come under the 18 % slab. There might be some initial teething issues with the implementation of GST, however, the impact of the same on the FMCG sector will be largely positive for the time to come.

Anant Sardeshmukh, DG of MCCIA
It is a new thing so the implementation might take some time. However, this move was long due and the businessmen, entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, are welcoming the step.

Dr Parashant Marathe, President of Indian Medical Association (IMA)  
The medical fraternity is happy about the exemption from the GST. The rise in tax is mostly related to cosmetology services alike plastic surgery. However, medical professionals think that surgeries for congenital deformities should also be exempted from the slab whereas beautification surgeries can be taxed. Rest of the items under the GST shall be taxed as per the Service Tax (ST) so we are expecting any hike so far? noted Marathe.

Consumers’ reactions
I purchased regular baby products from the medical store, which cost the same as before. Therefore, I did not see any difference in my bill. So I couldn’t identify how GST has been implemented here.
— Mrinalini Anand, a housewife

I had to pay extra on my basic household things I bought. Earlier, I used to buy basics for around Rs 1,977 but now it cost around Rs 2,169 with new GST added on it.
— Ruchira Sharma, PR Professional

I had gone for lunch to my regular place and was pleasantly surprised after seeing the bill. It was lesser than what I used to pay otherwise. The bill mentioned GST, which was divided in IGST and SGST. This is the first time I am seeing a bill with only one tax. Earlier it used to have a minimum of 4 taxes!
— Gauri Gokhale, a school teacher

 

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