Retailers are hoping that a clear roadmap for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be laid down in first Budget of the National Democratic Alliance government. "We hope there is some clarity. There is hope that it will get implemented within a certain time frame," says Suresh J, MD & CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd.
Govind Shrikhande, MD of Shoppers Stop, agrees. "Once GST implementation takes hold we will be able to set it off against service tax on rent, which will give a boost to the industry. It will be a win-win situation for both consumers and retailers."
The consumer durables industry has its own wish list. Anirudh Dhoot, President, Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) and Director, Videocon, says the home appliances industry should get incentives similar to those given to the consumer electronics industry under the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing policy.
He also adds, like others, that GST issue needs to be dealt with as it will reduce the burden of compliance for businesses. "It will bring down the total incidence of taxes by eliminating cascading taxes on goods and services," he says adding that tax system should be made simpler and transparent to benefit the tax payer.
Meanwhile, mall operators are hoping to get a single window clearance for a licence to build a mall, which in turn reduces project cost.
However, none of this will be easy, says Gaurav Gupta, Senior Director, Deloitte in India. "This is going to be a tricky budget for the new government as expectations from both corporates and citizens are high while the government will need to triangulate between inflation, budget deficit and investment," says Gupta, adding a poor monsoon could adversely impact the FMCG and retail industry through reduced demand and increase in commodity prices.