The Centre is mulling over the proposal from the industry to permit the small businesses for quarterly filing of returns. These small firms are facing a lot of troubles in complying with the norms set forth under GST due to their inability to seek proper professional help and adequate technology.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said, “Filing of GST return may be made on a quarterly basis, as against the current monthly filing requirement as the MSME sector is still not well equipped with the IT infrastructure and a qualified manpower; this small measure will help bring them into the GST mainstream.”

The recommendation was made on Thursday at the meeting of the finance minister wherein renowned industry bodies and exporters addressed their concerns pertaining to the new indirect tax regime. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) raised numerous demands which consisted of looking for an exemption for merchant exporters from the ambit of GST.

“Merchant exporters account for over 30% of country’s exports who usually work on razor thin margins of 2-4%. The imposition of GST has made their costing go haywire, particularly for products having higher GST rate, as they have to pay GST and seek refund after some time lag,” FIEO said in a statement

They also sought the Centre to accelerate GST refunds to aid them tide over the liquidity crisis. “... even in the best of situation, input tax credit refund would not be available before the first week of November,” FIEO said.

“Most of the exporters, particularly from MSME category, hardly have financial wherewithal to pay GST liabilities for three months without having refund in the meantime.”

“For ease of doing business especially for the MSME, provisional input tax credit period may be extended to 6 months from the current 2 months’ period; this will help cross matching of invoices through the GSTN portal and also save the blockage of the working capital for the small players,” said the CII’s Mr. Banerjee.