India pushing on with tax plan

There have been calls from some quarters for the tax to be postponed, as some businesses say they are not ready for its implementation.

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India’s government insists it is pushing ahead with plans to launch the good and services tax (GST) at the beginning of next month, despite some speculation that the reform might be delayed.

There have been calls from some quarters for it to be postponed, as some businesses say they are not ready for its implementation.

Hasmukh Adhia, the revenue secretary of India’s Ministry of Finance, took to Twitter to write: “The rumours about GST implementation being delayed are false. Please do not be misled by it.”

Meanwhile, India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs also used social media to try to bring an end to the doubts that the move might not go ahead as planned.

“Preparations are in full swing for a smooth implementation from 1st July, 2017,” it said on Twitter.

The state government of West Bengal has called for New Delhi to postpone the roll out of GST for a month. But the indications are that such demands will not be met.

On Monday, India reduced the proposed GST rates for 66 items to ease some of the concerns that the tax could hurt businesses in some sectors.

“The cut in the GST rates is expected to ease the inflation worries as well as this will also benefit the respective sectors, mainly FMCG, in our opinion,” said Vaibhav Agrawal, the head of research at Angel Broking.

“Overall we believe that the GST council, by remaining responsive, is taking correct steps to ensure smooth implementation of GST.”

Meanwhile, a number of retail stores and e-commerce websites in India have been offering hefty discounts on items ranging from televisions to shoes – of the nature of sales seen during the festive period of Diwali – to clear stock before the new tax comes into effect.

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