With the Government planning to give exemptions and concessions to various sections of the shipping industry, it was felt that AMTOI should take the lead in educating the members of the trade.
MUMBAI: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was ceremoniously introduced on the stroke of midnight on July 1, and was no doubt, an historic occasion.
Since its implementation, though, across the Country, the situation for businesses has been pretty much chaotic, exacerbated by the lack of clarity on a number of taxation issues on one hand, and a limited understanding of the new regime that was introduced, on the other hand.The logistics industry was among the most affected.
The Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI), being the apex body for the industry, was inundated with queries on GST. To its credit, most doubts were dealt with quickly and efficiently by AMTOI. However, with the persistent and wide-ranging nature of queries, AMTOI decided to engage the services of subject matter experts to tackle the questions posed. Accordingly, renowned legal and tax consultant K Vaitheeswaran, from Chennai, was brought to provide a series of talks and host interactive sessions for the members of AMTOI. Mr. Vaitheeswaran was engaged to conduct such sessions for the benefit of the trade even prior to the implementation of the new tax regime, so that the industry could be well prepared.
All the seminars and the interactive sessions were well received by the industry. According to O P Gupta, Promoter and Managing Director, GRT Global Logistics, the sessions were informative with many new perspectives being developed.
While he had some specific suggestions for the topics to be covered in future sessions, Mr. Gupta said, “The sessions were positively beneficial, relevant, practical and gave us additional help in our preparedness for GST.”
The awareness seminars were conducted in coordination with other affiliated organisations across the Country.
The details of some of these seminars are as follows:
April 4, 2017, at Chennai, by Mr. Vaitheeswaran
May 5, 2017, at MACCIA Hall, KalaGhoda, Mumbai
May 6, 2017at Ahmedabad, Gujarat
The programme for conducting the seminars continued post the implementation of the GST regime and sessions were held in coordination with the ACCAI, CAI and FFFAI. A session was held at MACCIA Hall in Kala Ghoda in Mumbai on August 18, 2017 and was conducted by Mr. Srinivasan, Deputy Commissioner of Customs and a member of the GST Committee.
Amit Bendre, Managing Director, Interport Global Logistics believes a common platform, such as the one set up by AMTOI, was critical in disseminating information across different segments of the logistics sector. He said, “Since there are four-five different modes of transport operators within the multimodal association, it was important for each to understand the billing procedures and other issues. The sessions simplified a lot of uncertainties but most importantly, the sessions were conducted by the right people and at just the right time which was most helpful.”
Being a multifaceted and intricate industry, AMTOI has realised many of its members are struggling to understand the implications of the new and complex tax regime. To help them understand the issues better, it has already prepared and rolled out FAQs to all members and subsequently attended any and every written as well as verbal query from them.
The only association that took the initiativeto hold one-on-one sessions for its members to address their doubts and queries on GST, the exercise saw over 80 participants who benefitted from it. These were held at AMTOI’s new office, near the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). Small groups of 15-20 members have had their queries addressed over the past couple of months by tax consultant, Yogesh Ashar. The sessions were held on Spetember, 9, 18, 26 and 28. AMTOI is now planning to hold question and answer (Q&A) sessions also for specific verticals of the logistics sector such as LCL cargo operators, road and goods transport agencies, NVOCC and tank operators, informed an AMTOI release.