Reviewing the GST after one year of its implementation from July 1, 2017 from Indian customs freight forwarding and logistics industry’s perspective, the Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) highly commended the Government of India for their firmness to implement the much-delayed tax reform with a few caution. According to the apex body of the Indian customs brokers and freight forwarders, GST has positively impacted the manufacturing, ex-im trade and logistics industry. “The introduction of E-way Bill has further enhanced the transport sector’s efficiency and removing of Check Posts have definitely improved transit times and consequently rationalized costs. However, it is found that some of erstwhile check ‘nakas’ are not very happy with the measure and try to create hurdles by random stoppage of trucks, especially of consolidated movements,” pointed out Mr S Ramakrishna, Vice Chairman, FFFAI.
There are some other areas of concern as well that require to be addressed. “After completion of one year of GST we can say that it has matured to a great extent in terms of filing of Returns. However, for services sector, export services have not been defined adequately. For example, refund application for similar export service is viewed differently by officials at different locations, resulting in unnecessary review applications,” viewed Mr Ramakrishna.
He also maintained that the concept of GSTR-I, 2 and 3 should have been continued so that auto reconciliation through the System could have happened. Mr Ramakrishna urged for doing away with human intervention, which is, in fact, the intention and vision of the present Government at the Centre. “Issues pertaining to taxes on goods are more or less resolved and are being settled in the regular GST Council meetings. Our sincere request to the Council is to redefine the export services so that there is no scope of ambiguity and hassles to service providers,” the FFFAI Vice Chairman appealed.
It is also pertinent to mention that the technology support from GSTN, which is the backbone to successfully implement and carry out the tax revolution in India, has to be well-structured and streamlined. “As the Finance Secretary of India Mr Hasmukh Adhia assured in his very recent statement, we are looking forward to the next GST Council meeting for some pragmatic decision on service sector, GSTN and other issues,” Mr Ramakrishna added.