Indian SMEs gear up for GST

Possibility of avoiding multiple statewide tariffs is a huge benefit

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Alot is being said about GST and there is great buzz on the kind of impact the new tax system will have on the Indian economy. Questions are being raised about the readiness of the Indian market, especially the SMEs and smaller businesses, to adapt to GST effective 1 July 2017. We, at Indian Printer and Publisher, spoke to a number of SMEs from the printing industry in the national capital to understand their view. 

Rishi Vidhawan, director at Fujikura Graphics India, makers of quality blankets for the printing industry, says that his company is already in the process of obtaining its GST number and he sees nothing wrong with the new system. Under GST, Fujikura Graphics will come under the 18% slab, which he feels will make things simpler and avoid multiple statewide tariffs. He finds the government’s GST website quite informative. 

Vaibhav Agarwal, director of Modinagar, western UP based MRL Rolls, shares that his company loses a substantial amount of money due to multiple statewide tariffs. He feels that the new GST structure would save him 10-12% on additional statewide tariffs that he is bearing at present. He feels there is enough information available online and doesn’t see problems with the roll-out in July.  

Amarpreet Singh, director of Faridabad-based Falcon Pumps, is not too optimistic though. His company is among the few that manufactures replacement pumps for Heidelberg printing presses in India and he has customers across the country. While he is happy about GST’s single tax system, he is not sure about the rate his raw materials will attract although it is just a matter of time before it will become clear. Singh also points out that filing three returns in a month will take some time to get used to but nothing is absolutely perfect right at the outset.

Vijay Gupta, director at Virtuous Publications which publishes school books in Hindi and English, also faced the same problem with multiple statewide tariffs and is happy that in the new tax regime, this will no longer be the case. As a publisher of school books, Virtuous Publications does not need to pay taxes for the books its sells but GST compliance requires a business of a certain size to have a GST number and Gupta sees no problem with that.

Overall, SMEs show a positive attitude towards GST although one is generally cautious and thus fails to take it as just another reform. There is a general appreciation of the fact that any new reform takes time to get in the mainstream and in the case of GST, the long-term benefits are not lost on anyone. SMEs with countrywide shipping operations seem to be content with the fact that they can avoid multiple statewide tariffs that have been adding to the cost of their products.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

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