Cigarette-to-hotel major ITC on Friday said there have been “some hiccups” in transition to the goods and services tax (GST) regime for the diversified conglomerate, but the disturbances have been far lower than what it had expected. After the company’s 106th annual general meeting, CEO Sanjiv Puri said, “GST is a transformative reforms, it is a huge tax reform. It will create a common Indian market. To expect that the transformative reforms will happen without any hiccup, I think we are expecting too much. So, yes there have been some hiccups in transition. But week by week it is getting better. We are surprised that the amount of disruption has been so little. It is much below what we had expected.”
Puri said that after the GST roll-out, wholesale trade channels of the company has been more affected than the retail trade channel. “The retail channel picked up faster, but the wholesale channel has been little slow to normalise. But it is getting better week by week … we have worked extensively with all our partners in preparation for GST. Most of our partners deal with that, in fact in day 1 (of GST launch) 99 per cent of works were ready,” he said. During the AGM, some of the shareholders expressed concerns over the GST Council’s move to hike the compensation cess on cigarettes.