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GST registration picking up in State

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 12 - The registration of dealers under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is picking up in the State and around 50 per cent of the potential dealers have already registered themselves under the GST, which is slightly above the national average of around 44 per cent. The State Government is planning to complete the registration process by June 15 so that the GST regime can be rolled out effectively from July 1 along with the rest of the country.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that so far more than 30,000 dealers have registered themselves under the GST and according to an estimate, the total number of dealers, who would come under the new tax system, would be around 50,000. Sources said that at present, there are around 2.50 lakh registered dealers in the State. But some did multiple registration, while some persons did not carry out any business after registering themselves.

Moreover, under the GST regime, only the dealers, who have annual turnover of more than ten lakh rupees would have to register themselves and that way also, the number would come down. �As per our assessment, around 50,000 dealers of the State would come under the GST regime,� sources added.

Initially, the registration process was slow as the people were not fully aware of the Aadhaar-based registration. Moreover, the people of Assam do not have Aadhaar cards. But after the Centre waived the Aadhaar card condition for registration of dealers in the State, the registration process picked up and the government is hoping to complete the process by June 15 for effective implementation of the GST from July 1.

Sources admitted that at the initial level, there would be some challenges in implementing the GST like in introduction of any new system. �But we are confident that we will be able to overcome the challenges within a short time,� sources asserted. �One of the challenges would be the fact that a number of dealers in Assam have registration in West Bengal. That issue will have to be settled through discussions with the Central and West Bengal governments,� sources added.

To educate the officers, dealers and chartered accountants about the implementation of the GST, a series of training programmes have been organised and sources said that no one should have any major difficulty in implementing the new tax system.

Asked whether the revenue collection of the State would increase after the implementation of the GST, sources admitted that the tax collection may come down in the initial few months. �There may be initial hiccups while introducing a new system and in the first few months, the revenue collection may go down a little. But the State would benefit in the long run,� sources added.

During the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system also, the revenue collection came down in the first year, but it picked up after a year or so.

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