Kirana shops not ready for GST migration

Kirana shops not ready for GST migration

Kirana shops not ready for GST migration

Trade and commerce across Karnataka are faced with a humongous task of automating their business accounting due to the rollout of Goods and Services Tax on July 1, with the kirana stores being the worst sufferers.

As most of the establishments are not equipped with electronic medium of filing returns, the businesses fear uncertainty in their business. According to the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), only 25% of the state’s close to one lakh kirana shops are equipped with computers to deal with electronic filing of returns. The rest 75% will have to computerise themselves, which may cost up to Rs 200 crore collectively.

“If you see, most of the kirana shop owners are illiterate and even for basic entries in computer, they need a lot of training,” Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, member of the Managing Committee at FKCCI told DH.

He also fears the return of Inspector Raj due to the low level of computerisation among kirana shop owners. “The government has given us only two months for transition to GST. How can the traders cope up. And then we will see return of the Inspector Raj into the system,” he added.

“The government should go aggressively in training the small traders on the GST. They did it when they wanted businesses to migrate to GST, they should do it now as well,” he opined.

He also alleged that the government has been taking the unilateral decision on the issue, adding “We need time at least till March 31, to completely migrate into GST regime.”

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