Amid covid pandemic which has given a big financial jolt to the traders of the Country, the forthcoming Union Budget is going to be a game changer. It will be interesting to know whether this budget will reflect any support policy for the traders in terms of any economic package .All eyes of the traders will search whether the budget carries any significant steps to simplify and rationalise the Goods & Services Fax (GST) and Income Tax or streamlining the e-commerce business of India – said Mr Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) explaining budget expectations of the 8 crore traders of India. Though not very hopeful yet CAIT believes that small businesses may be kept as the topmost priority of the Government. Post independence in past 75 years, traders have not been on any priority of any governement- lamented Shri Khandelwal.
Taking its mandate to flush the retail trade and e commerce from all evils & mal- practices, the senior leadership of CAIT is meeting tomorrow and day after at Ahemadabad, to draw the roadmap and strategy of a month long “ Vyapari Sanvad National Campaign” aimed to propagate the need of a robust e commerce policy and re-drafting of GST Act. The campaign will start from 1st February and will continue till 28th February across the country.
The CAIT in its budget memorandum to Finance Minister submitted earlier has focused the demand for restructuring of Income Tax Act, Tax rate relaxations for Partnership Firms & LLP entities, special deductions for work from home under Income Tax Act, re-drafting of GST Act, Replacement of all types of Licenses by one license, roll out of e commerce policy having provision for a Regulatory Authority, roll out of a National Policy for Retail Trade, Review of all types of Laws & Rules governing retail trade, restructuring of pension scheme to traders, provision of Insurance to traders and support policies for upgradation, modernisation & computerisation of existing retail trade of India to meet the Digital India vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
CAIT National President Mr B C Bhartia said that the existing Income Tax Act has completed its diamond jubilee. In these last six decades several changes/amendments have been made and therefore, the Act has lost its basic structure. The business environment, government expectations, business working modules, physical to digital and everything has been considerably changed. As such the current Income Tax Act has lost its significance and relevance and therefore a Special Task Force may be constituted to re-design the Income Tax Act.He further said that Rate of taxes for partnership firms and LLPs should be kept at par with corporate sector. Mr Bhartia said that nowadays most of the companies want their employees to work from home.
The employees have to incur additional expenditure for earning their salary income. A special standard deduction for salaried persons should be brought in to compensate work from home. He also called for Increase in limits for accepting and repayment of deposits from existing 20000 to at least ₹ 50,000* similarly *limit under section 43A(3)of Income Tax Act regarding expenditure* done in cash limit should also be increased. In view of the inflation, the business at retail level, the persons coming from villages to city for their purchases are required to make payment in cash. The limit of ₹ 10,000 under expenditure and ₹20000 for loans and deposits are too short. This needs to be increased.
CAIT Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal strongly called for a fresh review of GST Act on the basis of 4 years of experience both by the Government and Traders. More than 1000 amendments in GST Act & Rules in just 4 years itself warranted a review of the GST tax system and need for crafting a simplified & rationalised tax structure.
The current GST tax system has emerged as a most complicated tax system in India over the World much against the wishes of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for providing ease of doing business. It’s pity that GST Council can amend the Act & rules thousand times but the traders have no right to rectify their tax returns even for one time. It’s further laughable that for the errors & omissions for one person, the other person who has complied the law both in letter & spirit is penalised. These types of several other provisions in GST are beyond the canons of justice and therefore demand a total review.
Both Mr Bhartia & Mr Khandelwal said that the manner in which e commerce business is expanding ,it requires an e commerce policy with defined parameters for e commerce operations in India with an empowered Regulatiry Authority. We expect a policy announcement in the Budget for e commerce – said both leaders .
Both Mr Bhartia & Mr Khandelwal expressed hope that the Budget will provide ample opportunities for the traders for better business environment.