Hyderabad: There is no major initiative from the state government or the commercial taxes department to create awareness on GST, especially among traders in semi-urban and rural areas.
Although some awareness sessions are being held occasionally by the government and various trade bodies over the past few months, they are mostly confined to major cities and towns.
Besides, these sessions are more about the benefits of GST, instead of providing hands-on guidance to traders on the way ahead. In some sessions, politicians are called to address the gatherings, and they end up making political speeches.
Traders say tax experts should be called in to address such meetings and give a demonstration on how billing should be done under GST regime, how the invoices should be prepared and tax returns should be filed.
Traders from semi-urban and rural areas complain that awareness sessions are not being held in their areas even as GST launch is just 10 days away.
“The need for awareness programmes on GST is more in semi-urban and rural Areas, where traders and dealers have lower proficiency in computers. They are not acquainted with digitisation of bills, preparation of invoices and filing of returns.
“But most of these programmes are being held in major cities and towns, where traders already have a good understanding of these issues,” said Ch Yugandhar, a trader in Nalgonda district.
Traders say that in the districts, ministers, MLAs and other politicians, rather than experts, are being invited to address the few awareness meetings that do take place.