In continuation of their joint efforts towards “Identifying implications of GST and facilitating adoption by MSMEs”, SIDBI the focal financial institutions for MSMes and FISME, the leading federation of MSME Associations in India, organised a roundtable at Mumbai on 25th October, 2016.
Eminent tax and GST expert Mr. Bimal Jain was the main speaker at the programme and he explained the nuances of the model GST law to the participants.
Mr. Jain also identified the crucial gaps in the planned system and suggested that MSME bodies take up these issues with the Government of India at the earliest for redressal.
Mr Rajesh Kumar, Deputy General Manager, SIDBI, Mumbai, explained to the participating MSMEs, how the GST environment will help the Bankers in processing loan applications from MSMEs by bringing in more transparency in the business transactions and upfront projecting the real turnovers.
The Guest of Honour at the roundtable Mrs Meenal Bhosale, Joint Commissioner-Service Tax (Audit), Mumbai, explained in detail the initiatives being taken by the Government to facilitate MSMEs in adoption of GST. Mentioning about the problems identified by the expert, she mentioned that the GST Act is not cast on stone and amendments could always be made to make the system MSME friendly.
Earlier in his welcome address Mr Rajendra Kothari, President, Bombay Industries Association (BIA), co- sponsor of the roundtable, mentioned about the hopes and concerns of the MSMEs about GST. While GST will open a barrier free all India market for MSMEs, the abrupt lowering of tax exemption limit from Rs. 1.5 crore to 20 lakhs will bring in large number of micro enterprises undertax net and would be a huge challenge, he mentioned.
Mr Chirag Mehta, Proprietor of M/s C.B. Mehta & Associates and a taxation expert, also expressed the fear that without proper handholding GST will be a huge challenge for MSMEs to follow. He also mentioned about developing an reliable GST network to facilitate online transactions.
The talks were followed by a lively Q&A session where representatives from MSME bodies raised a varied range of questions on the penal provisions under the GST law and scope for minimising the paper work for MSMEs.
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