GST to disrupt India Inc's working capital cycle
Mumbai: The transition to GST is expected to disrupt the working capital cycle of India Inc during the initial phase of the new tax regime due to the lock up of input tax credit.
A India Ratings study on a sample set of 11,000 corporates revealed that the input credit lock up for this sample could be around Rs 1 lakh crore of which about Rs 50,000 crore would be blocked for about two months, which may result in higher short term working capital requirement for businesses in the near term.
It believes that in order to minimise the magnitude of such disruption at the earliest, and to absorb the sudden changes in requirement of short-term finance, easy system liquidity is necessary.
India Rating’s sample set of corporates showed that the task is humongous and can be gauged by the size of closing inventory of around Rs 11.2 lakh crore as at FY16, which are at various stages of production process. The average excise duty of the sample set works out to around 5.5 per cent. Further assuming that 25 per cent of the over-all inventory is procured locally and is subject to an average VAT rate of 14 per cent, the over-all input credit lock up will be around '1 lakh crore for this sample and would be higher on an over-all basis.
Even if 50 per cent of this is not available for set-off during the transition phase, the rating agency noted that it would result in blockage of Rs 50,000 crore of input credit for about two months.
Moreover, service tax rates are likely to increase by a flat 3 per cent to 18 per cent as against 15 per cent earlier. These factors may put stress on the short-term working capital requirement for businesses.