Telangana low GST ceiling hits traders

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Mr. Satyanarayana owns a shop selling hardware supplies and minor power tools in Chikkadpally. His turn over is between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 lakh. His margins are thin; his gross profit is generally less than Rs 8 lakh. But he has to pay huge amount every month to an accountant to file his GST returns. The stories of several small business owners in Telangana are largely the same. And their troubles are partly because of the state government.

It may be recalled that in January 2019, the GST Council meeting decided to raise the GST exemption limit for goods traders from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh in big states (non-special category states). However, two states Telangana state and Kerala decided to maintain status quo. This implies that any business with a gross turnover of more than Rs 20 lakh has to register in the GST network. Businesses in other states are spared the hassle of paperwork as long as their turnover is below Rs 40 lakh.

Registering in the GST network can indeed be quite a hassle. The complexity of GST laws forces the businessmen to hire accountants who can charge upwards of Rs 3,000 a month just to file the returns. Internal audits and other services cost much more. For many small businesses, these numbers can be overwhelming.

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