The Finance Minister and other eminent personalities have been emphasizing time and again on the readiness for GST. They have been suggesting to the companies to examine the critical exemptions and have a look at their IT infrastructure readiness rather than questioning on the implementation date of GST. The Goods and Services Tax is likely to address the non-compliance in the trading sector and bringing them at par with the manufacturing sector and hence, increasing the competitiveness. GST is also likely to affect every part of the business in India, with regards to cash Flow, costing of capital, tax accounting, supply chain, and even the technology being used to maintain the current tax ecosystem. There will be a requirement of training the key personnel in the company in order to operate effectively under the new regime.

The transition to GST has to be meticulously planned by the industry with a proactive approach. It would be easier to carry out the required activities in a phased manner. The organizations can make a start by understanding the key areas of impact in their business models and preparing different scenarios for the design and application of GST. The implementation of changes will be critical and will have to be managed through a robust program management. This will further require the involvement of the company stakeholders and the members of the entire value chain.

The program management includes the integration, budget management, quality assurance and timely communications. The shared services will have to be explored and outsourced services managed for the GST compliance. If a list of the transitional issues is to be made, it would look like this:

Getting the registration certificate

CENVAT transition to the new input tax credit system

Handling the taxation on overlapping transactions

Handling the taxation on continuous supply goods and services

Revision in prices due to change in tax structure

Treatment of goods and services under exemption

Handling of exempt goods returned after sale

Tackling of goods lying in the job-work locations

Transition of entries in books of accounts Tackling pending refund claims