India Inc chips in to clear the air about GST for clients, vendors

BENGALURU: A fortnight into the implementation of GST, traders and businessmen are yet to get a hang of the new system. Even though the GST Network has a call centre, individual companies are forced to set up their own helpdesks to help in this transition. Canara Bank, Coca-Cola and EY are among those who have done it. Companies say it will take a couple of months before the process can get completely streamlined as customers and partners are yet to get the complete picture. GST invoicing, billing and GSTN numbers are some of the areas of concern. While Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages has set up a post-GST helpline meant for its 4,000 distributors, tax consultancy firm EY has launched a help desk for small businesses.

At the forefront of the services sector are banks. To help their customers with GSTN numbers, Canara Bank has set up a helpdesk.

Speaking to Express, Rajakumaran S, AGM, Canara Bank, said, “We are getting 7-10 mails a day, which we address the same day.

Banking is under 18 per cent slab now from the earlier 15 per cent. People want to know how much they have to pay now and whether it encompasses all services. We have sent a message to all our customers that whatever services are availed, it will attract 18 per cent GST. We plan to contact all our vendors so that they will be able to capture our GSTN number properly in their system. We have also written to all our business customers asking them to provide their GSTN numbers to avail tax credit.”

Logistics firm Blue Dart has setup a forum called gstupdates@bluedart.com to address queries on GST and to keep all stakeholders aware about the latest developments on the new tax regime. This is in addition to the company’s efforts to create a back end system aligning its processes, accounting and billing systems etc. to the new system.

“We have been working closely with our customers and vendors with GST updates to help them comply with the regulatory process,” said Aneel Gambhir, chief financial officer, Blue Dart.

Most traders are getting their clarifications and concerns addressed through auditors and chartered accountants. “Around 80 per cent of the people were of the opinion that GST was implemented in haste. Some confusion is going to be there for sometime but slowly, we are getting on board the new system. We are regularly in touch with CAs and auditors,” said Bengaluru-based trade activist Sajjan Raj Mehta.