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Preparing the IT function for the GST era


Different aspects related to GST were discussed. Which are the areas where the tax reform will have the most impact; who should own the GST project; the security aspect; coordination with different partners for the required preparedness; how to select the vendor for the GST suvidha provider were some of the issues elaborated upon

Vipul Anand, Group CIO, Jindal Steel and Power spoke at length about the impact, the indirect tax reform would have on business, tax and IT. The supply chain function will be deeply affected and the storage depots will have to be repositioned accordingly. The working capital and cash flows will also be impacted. Jindal has done a impact study and on the basis, a point by point gap study has been documented.

Enterprises should fix the ownership of the GST transition project. “GST is a business project and not an IT project. It’s more of a BPR,” says Jayantha Prabhu, Group CIO, and Head- AGC Networks, Essar. The Essar group has created a control room in Mumbai to anchor the project. A schedule is prepared for every group company. It’s also important to select the vendor who serves both as an ASP and GSP. Thus there is no need to deal with two vendors.

The GST readiness is not as per the expectations. This is due to the lack of the availability of software platforms with invoice templates that fits the GST format. “ESDS provides cloud solutions to ASPs and GSPs to take the data load from the GST. The company provides readymade templates to enterprises to partner with their ERP and be ready to file GST from day one,” says Anil Chandaliya, Chief Innovation Officer, ESDS.

With a lot of speculation about the GST rollout date, it should not be delayed by the enterprises. What can go wrong scenarios should be put in place and “when ERP data gets directly uploaded on the GSTN, how will security be handled is an important issue,” says K K Chaudhary, Group Head IT and IS, LANCO Group. Accountability has to be properly fixed.

Marico is a manufacturing company and thus, “our complications are both on the buy and sell side,” says Girish Rao, CIO, Marico. The company is educating the farmers about GST. The door of opportunities will open up, in terms of which categories to focus on, after the tax brackets are released.

Based on the panel discussion organised at the Technology Senate, 2017 (The Indian Express Group) held on June 8,9,10, 2017

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