“The economy will experience drastic changes with this paradigm shift.”-Mr. Ankit Agarwal-Managing Director Alankit Limited.

An exclusive interview with IT.Voice Mr. Ankit Agarwal-Managing Director,Alankit Limited reveals his strategies for business in India .

Nisha Harshwal:-Can you discuss your journey as e-governance service provider?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal-Managing Director Alankit Limited.

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-Alankit initiated its business operations as a financial services provider (as registrar and share transfer agent) and later graduated to become one of the leading e-governance service providers. We are listed on both the Premier Exchanges of the Country – National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE).

As an e-governance service provider, we have always maintained high standards of service delivery, used new advanced technology, provided efficient business solutions and quality information to our customers. From providing TIN Facilitation centers and PAN Centers, obtaining membership of Dubai Gold & Commodity Exchange (DGCX), becoming the Enrolment Agency for UIDAI, Providing printing of PVC Aadhaar Cards, Aadhaar Seeding Facilities, Point of Service (POS) for National Skills Registry (NSR), Emerging as National Distributor for Entrust Datacard Printers and Distributor for EESL Energy Efficient Products to becoming a leading GSP, we have been constantly adding new lines of e-governance services for our customers, at the same time the reliability and the level of customer satisfaction.

Nisha Harshwal:- Currently on which government related project you are working on? 

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-The major Government related projects that we are working on would include GST, PAN Card Services, Aadhaar Enrolment, Distribution of Energy Efficient Products of EESL, National Discributor for ID Card Printers etc.

Nisha Harshwal:- What sort of changes do you think GST will bring to the industries?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-GST is expected to bring a paradigm shift in India’s global perception and operations. This revolutionary reform is expected to bring short term confusions in the business processes but talking about the long term scenario, it will surely benefit the overall economy. For different nature and sizes of businesses GST has created one common market, leading to greater ease of doing business. GST will boost the system to drive towards a digitally sound economy with more efficient tax system, working at a faster pace & with maximum accessibility and efficiency. GST, in a longer run, will surely help streamlining the processes, reduce the prices of goods with reduced incidences of double taxes, eliminate multiple tax layers making the tax structure more uniform and transparent.

In case of FMCG companies, it will benefit the supply chain with the consolidation of storage hub, whereas the tax rate on telecom industry and insurance industry would almost rise by 18% & 3%.  One industry that would be benefitted the most is the Transport industry which would function more efficiently as earlier it was designed and structured based on the state taxation system. With GST compliance, it will change as the entire transport infrastructure Pan India will become more competitive and optimal in terms of its structure. It will also benefit in terms of faster turnaround time, better timeliness and less idle hours. Earlier the taxes were hidden and not visible to the taxpayer and now everything will come on the face of the bill. For IT industries, duty on manufactured goods is going is going to have a 3% hike which means the cost of electronics from mobile phones to laptops will rise. Nonetheless, it will create a unified market pan India and will allow free movement and supply of goods. For consumers, reduction in multiplicity of taxes is an advantage. Earlier, the businesses were subjected to both VAT and Service Tax which added burden of tax increase in the cost of doing business in the form of higher taxes. But with GST implementation we believe, tax calculation for tax professionals will be much simpler leading to lowering of taxes. Also, Cost of tax collection and filing both will be reduced by filling through online channels and tax on tax will totally be eliminated.

Nisha Harshwal:-Especially if we talk about SMBs, how do you think they are being affected with GST
implementation?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-After the implementation of GST, many SMBs have been caught in a state of flux. SMB’s we believe that initially they’ll be affected in terms of working capital with GST but later, they’ll surely be benefitted in the longer run and it will definitely turn out to be a bumpy ride to shift of all times. In the initial phase, it’ll create some problem in shifting from unorganized to organized sector leading to temporary slowing down of business activities. But in the longer run, simplified procedure under GST will benefit SMB’s by providing them access to cheaper capital and input tax credit.

With GST, almost every business would come at par which will create opportunities for them to showcase their product and services to a larger national audience and customer base which will foster a GST enabled economy. But also, the SMB’s have to ensure that their accounting of data is efficiently done. As a conclusion, it will start benefitting the SMB’s once the cost of technology adopted in the process and financial services is absorbed and the prices of products and services come down.

Nisha Harshwal:-What is GST Muneemji? How is it going to help tax professionals in all over India?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-GST Muneemji is a cloud based comprehensive solution for tax professionals and taxpayers alike in the governance and other compliance domains. It act as a one stop station for all compliance needs. GST Muneemji is reliable, expeditious and caters to the GST needs of businesses, and various large organizations. We have launched this solution for smooth implementation of Goods and Service Tax across various business sectors. GST Muneemji comes at an annual subscription of Rs. 5000 per GSTIN and allows a tax payer/ tax professional to file up to 14,000 invoices. In case of invoices above 14,000, the end-user may avail a top-up plan which offers filing of another 1000 invoices in Rs. 300 (@ 30 paisa per invoice). The subscription is made free till the end of the current financial year for any GSTIN number.

It allows tax professionals to upload data in any format and it will automatically adjust to the compliance mechanism. It renders a quick management system such as Instant notifications on invoice mismatch, invoice validation of various vendors, Tax Ledger Reconciliation, Integration with Accounting systems, integrated view of filings, E-mail alerts with appropriate escalations, Bulk uploading of invoices etc. The data is also stored for a period of 8 years which will help them comply with annual returns. GST Muneemji also provides summarization of the input tax credit balance available with you at any moment, uploading returns, no charges for e- signs for 37 returns and auto populates & prepares the return in the upload format.

Nisha Harshwal:-Any challenges that you are facing while ensuring smooth implementation of GST across
business sectors? Which business sector is most challenging?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-Finally, GST has become a reality. It is expected to revolutionize the business operations, boost the economy, create a shift from unorganized to organized sector, consolidating all the taxes as one single tax structure.

We believe that in the implementation phase, the economy will experience drastic changes with this paradigm shift but looking at the far-sighted perspective of the reform, things will surely settle in place. Major challenge for consumers in this transition phase would be the shift from the previous tax regime and carrying forward the input credits into the GST regime. Lack of knowledge of GST amongst people can also stand as a challenge for which more awareness on the important aspects of GST is to be generated.

Textiles, being a major contributor in the economy by contributing about 10% of the total annual export is the most challenging business sector as textile industry came in the ambit of GST, however, no tax was liable to be paid in the previous acts.

Nisha Harshwal:-What are the steps you are taking to curtail those challenges?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-This shift after implementation of GST from the previous tax regime and carrying forward the input credits into GST is the biggest challenge that all organizations and industries are facing presently.

We extremely focus on taking required steps in order to curtail these challenges:

• We have conducted GST evangelization drive across 22 cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai,Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Indore, Guwahati, Raipur, Vishakhapatnam,Lucknow and Chandigarh.

• As GST Compliance is huge across various enterprises, we have introduced our GST compliance tool GST Muneemji, a cloud-based solution for tax professionals in the governance and  compliance domain which will ease the process of filing returns and ensure smooth implementation of Goods and Service Tax across various business sectors. It will not only help in summarizing the input tax credit balance but will also help in integrating with accounting packages, providing backup for 8 years, auto populating and preparing the return in the upload format, uploading the return , pre and post filing reconciliation, allowing bulk upload of invoices etc.

• Also, we have launched Point of Sale (PoS) Machine named GST Saarthi which will help the smaller businesses getting onboard, GST traders to prepare bills, take payments through Cards/Aadhar biometrics. PoS will have a mobile set up that can be installed in the office of the employer so that ITP can save time in completing this formality. The system will issue a unique identification number to ITP. The uniqueness is determined based on the comparison of fingerprint properties registered for other ITPs in the system.

Nisha Harshwal:-As a service provider any other steps you are taking to ensure easy work out for the industries?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-Apart from the above mentioned initiatives, we have also increased the scalability of infrastructure and opened GST Suvidha Kendras (GSKs – GST Facilitation Centers) Pan India through which GST tax payers can approach the Center and can easily file their GST returns through the return filling given to GSKs and upload their invoices as well. We are profoundly giving training to our GSKs through webinars and also through our regional offices all across India to implement a smooth
passage to file returns.

Nisha Harshwal:-Any specific plans for SMBs? Anything especial you have in box for them?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-There are numerous SMBs who lack knowledge about the latest technology and familiarity to incorporate GST into their operations. For such SMBs, we offer PoS Solution (Billing software to our clients) which is also known as GST Saarthi. GST Saarthi is an all in one solution for SMBs with tablet, printer, Aadhar enabled payment systems and call center service support. We have also opened GST suvidha kendras at different locations to provide services to GST Taxpayers by giving them value added services and ease their work.

Nisha Harshwal:-Any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about, where you will be working in next few
years?

Mr. Ankit Agarwal:-GST is the mammoth economic reform and its compliance is going to spread across various businesses and enterprises Pan India. We anticipate that it will bring transparency & uniformity, help in streamlining the processes but we believe that the powerful force of GST is yet to be unfolded.

Further, for proper compliance of the reform, we have introduced some specific services for the tax payers and other stakeholders such as GST Muneemji and GST Saarthi which will help businesses in recording their invoices and other transactions. For tax payers, we provide Seamless Data Relay, Invoice Data upload, multiple interfacing options, Enriched APIs, Data Protection & Privacy, Seamless Data Relay, High Availability & Fault Tolerance, Multiple interfacing options. Also,we have recently launched a portal called www.alankitgst.com for registration of ASPs, sharing relevant and useful communication for other stakeholders like tax professionals, CAs, large MNCs,SMEs, other businesses and taxpayers etc.

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