Bengal caution on GST date

The Bengal government has decided to request the Centre to reconsider its decision to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1, saying small and medium traders are still not ready.

By Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta
  • Published 28.06.17
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Calcutta, June 27: The Bengal government has decided to request the Centre to reconsider its decision to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1, saying small and medium traders are still not ready.

Sources said the state finance department had received panic calls from traders across the state.

"We were concerned about small and medium traders and we had raised the issue at the GST Council.... It appears that if the Centre rolls out the GST without addressing the concerns of the small and medium traders, a disaster is waiting to happen. We will urge the Centre to reconsider the rollout of the GST from July 1," said Amit Mitra, state finance minister.

Mitra said the GST network would have to process 300 crore filings from across the country every month.

"Moreover, the small and medium traders need to be acquainted with the system. It will take some time," he said.

Mitra claimed that traders everywhere in the country, not just Bengal, were up in arms against the new tax system.

Last week, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had said: "We have been saying for the last six months it would be July 1 - nobody has any business not to be ready. If he's still not ready, then I'm afraid he does not want to be ready."