How businesses operate and grow in any given economyis an outcome of the tax regime followed there. The more complex the system is, the more it impacts the efficiency and operations of these businesses. India for ages, has had one of the most complex and elaborate tax structures globally. The indirect tax system in India, including customs and excise, has steered several businesses into remodelling their approach, owing to multiplicity of taxes collected at both state and central level. This in turn impacts the overall development of business enterprises of varied scales and stature.
Perhaps one of the most important economic reforms in the country, the implementation of GST lays ahead a potential opportunity for India to reshape and restructure its corporate landscape in more ways than one. In an economy developing as rapidly as India, competing and leading on a global level, GST will bring about a paradigm-shift in India's global perception and operations. While harmonizing the current tax structure and uniformity, simplification and transparency in processes remains the core intent of the bill, the impact reaches far beyond.
Often regarded as a 'game-changer', GST is likely to revolutionize the way India does business, setting it on a path to become one of world's most evolved and business-friendly countries. Despite some initial lash, GST has proven to be an effective method tax collection across countries such as France, Canada, UK etc. contributing significantly to the growth of these nations. The Goods and Service Tax is premised on the agenda of creating a unified economy that facilitates seamless movement of goods throughout. It promises to remove the existing barriers around investment and entrepreneurship, where decisions can be made purely on economic concerns, independent of tax considerations and process hassles. Reduction in tax burden, logistics and inventory costs, and distribution of goods in reduced time will have a positive, lasting impact on the sales and profitability of companies operating in diverse industries. By bringing businesses of varied sizes and DNA under a uniform tax structure, which in turn would facilitate reduction in price gaps, GST will lead to a level-playing field for both the organized and unorganized where growth opportunities will be ample and fair. The eventual outcome will rationalise costs at all doors, increase employment, improve efficiency and put India on a vertical growth trajectory in the coming future. GST has been commonly accepted by over 140 countries in the world. The magnitude of this reform will impact all sections of the society - from small time businessmen to huge conglomerates and from a developing state to a developed state in this country. The implementation of GST will give immense boost to the growth engine pursued by the government.
While the 'tectonic' reform is set to add a new dimension of growth and development. The road to its implementation is fraught with some Infrastructural and logistical challenges. The government needs a robust IT backbone and third-party support to roll out the reform and ensure inclusion.This is where external facilitators come into the picture. As a qualifiedGSP (GST Suvidha Provider) appointed by GSTN, these third parties will develop the web or mobile-based interfaces for taxpayers to interact with GST network, ensuring assistance and clarity to the users, thereby assisting the government in the implementation process.GSTN has planned a number of GSPs who will act as a middle layer between the ASPs or business and GSTN. These ASP's or Application Service Providers will help and enable businesses comply with GST. ASPs can work with multiple GSPs to enable GST for their customers and will have a contractual relationship with GSPs that they use.In the evolving environment of the new GST regime it is envisioned that the GST Suvidha Providers (GSP) concept is going to play a very important and strategic role. It is the endeavour of GSTN to build the GSP eco system, ensure its success by putting in place an open, transparent and participative framework for capable and motivated enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Will all foreseeable challenges and anticipated opportunities, GST is likely to rocket-fuel the Indian economy, putting it on the global map of the most economically evolved countries. It will have a far-reaching impact on all operating industries.
By, Ankit Agarwal, Managing Director, Alankit Limited