The Good and Services Tax (GST), which is a watershed moment in Indian Taxation is scheduled to be launched on 1st July 2017 and rates of almost all goods and services have been fixed and then have also been subsequently revised.
The implementation of the GST is already going to be a challenge for the government but as it turns out some unscrupulous elements want to cause further troubles by spreading baseless rumors in order to create panic among people directly affected by the new tax.
As it turns out recently rumors are floating on social media which claim that the government has decided to defer the launch date from 1st July to 1st September. The rumors are reportedly being spread chiefly on WhatsApp but are also being circulated on Facebook and Twitter:
Then there are such messages on Twitter:
GST roll out has been postponed to 1 September. Govt’s incompetence in this crucial tax reform is telling.
— ?Chirag (@chirag) June 12, 2017
A few professionals on the ground too seem to have fallen for this rumour:
In Kolkata atleast our known tax lawyer is saying that since system isn’t properly working like autopopulation of fields etc.?
— Radhika✦Apostate (@RpG_89) June 13, 2017
All this today prompted Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhiya to clarify that such reports were false:
The rumours about GST implementation being delayed are false. Please do not be misled by it.
— Dr Hasmukh Adhia (@adhia03) June 13, 2017
The Central Excise board too carried a notification:
— CBEC (@CBEC_India) June 13, 2017
We contacted our columnist Ashutosh Mugikar for more clarity on this issue. He stated that the rumour was chiefly being circulated on WhatsApp. He stated that he too had received such messages on various professional groups which include members like lawyers, company secretaries, chartered accountants etc. The reasons given for this rumoured delay are:
GST technology backbone is not ready
GST technology backbone has not yet been tested
He dubbed these messages to be plain scaremongering and also pointed out that various associations had called for the deferment of the GST launch till September due to the unpreparedness of various industries. Thus he speculated that people who want GST deferred might have seeded in this rumour.