July 4th, 2019. Valia Hall. The Goods and Services Tax, long after its introduction and implementation, continues to be one that arouses controversies, especially of the kind that arises out of the failure to understand its finer nuances. The Bhawanipur Education Society College (BESC) which had pioneered courses about GST even before its formal induction has been in the forefront of the effort to understand and disseminate knowledge about it and is widely regarded in the professional circles for its contribution to the field. Naturally, the Eastern India Regional Council (EIRC) of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) chose the BESC to partner with, when it wanted discuss the various issues that has come to the fore post implementation of the GST.
The event, GST Mela, was organised to mark the 70th Anniversary of the CA Day, which the Institute commemorates with due solemnity and reverence.
Distinguished panellists from the professional body – CA Nitesh More (Vice Chairman, ICAI, EIRC), CA Dr Debasish Mitra (Council Member, ICAI, EIRC), CA Sumit Binani (Chairman ICAI, EIRC), CA Sushil Goyal (Council Member, ICAI, EIRC), Devendra Negvenkar (Commissioner GST), CA Vasudeo Agarwal (President ACAE), CA Debayan Patra (member ICAI, EIRC) where present on the occasion and were warmly welcomed to the college by the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof Dilip Shah. In a brief welcome speech, which preceded his felicitation of the distinguished guests, Prof Shah, highlighted some of the key concerns regarding GST requesting the panellists to shed light on them, thereby, to a very large extent setting up the framework of the discussions that were to follow.
Six tables were set up for representatives of industry and business associations as well as SME representatives seeking solutions to GST related hurdles being faced by them. All queries were answered by the practitioners and was overseen by the experts from the respective departments. Students assisted in placing the queries before the relevant expert and were also present while the answers were provided, which was an extremely beneficial exercise for them as it helped them better their core understanding of GST and its application.
The full house, comprising of practicing Chartered Accountants and GST practitioners also had a mix of eager BESC students who wanted to hear the experts talk about one of the most controversial and perhaps the least understood of the commercial taxes in vogue.
The panellists, discussed GST threadbare, highlighting many of the lacunas and the ways around them which was enlightening to put things mildly. The detailed sector wise analysis of the tax and its impact covering industries like real estate, transportation, textiles, trading, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality and services was found to be extremely beneficial by the students, to whom it was like a manna straight from the heavens.
(This report has been filed by Preeti Jain along with camera person Shouvik Das of the Expressions collective of the BESC)