A Pune-based pharma entrepreneur, Vikas Kandekar, has claimed that he had incurred losses around Rs 80,000 since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In business since 2012, Kandekar owns a factory in Ahmednagar district where a specific concoction of drugs, derived from plants and other organic sources, was prepared. His associates operated from Pune.
Kandekar said he has always been diligent with the payment of taxes. As the GST took effect, on June 1, Kandekar migrated his sales tax number to the GST network. He said, “The migration happened seemingly easily in April.” However, he said, in August he received a notice that his GST number had been suspended. “But no reason was assigned for the same. When we checked the GST portal, there was no clarity about the matter.” While his registration was suspended, Kandekar said he applied for a new GST registration, which went unresolved and he had to apply for the third time at the end of September.
“Every time I applied, I had to spend around Rs 5,000 to acquire a digital signature and pay my Chartered Accountant,” he said. Besides, Kandekar added, he started incurring losses, as most of his suppliers and end customers refused to do business without a proper GST number. “We were supposed to a launch a new molecule for treatment of renal stones before the start of winter, but this could not be possible,” he said. “Repeated follow ups with the Nashik regional office also proved futile,” he said. Meanwhile, an official communique shared with Kandekar revealed that many of the officials were also in the dark about why he was unsuccessful in receiving the registration.
“An email showed that, while the helpdesk had closed my case, the matter was far from resolved with the superintendent of GST and Sales Tax, Nashik, clearly stating his ignorance on why the matter was closed,” he said. Officers, whom Kandekar spoke to, claimed that it was a “technical issue” beyond their scope. Kandekar said, “With the officers washing their hands off the matter, some suggested I take to social media to get my problem resolved.”
However, on October 7, Kandekar received a notification that his application was successfully received and a new GST number was allocated to him. “The whole process was baffling. Till date, we do not know why our application was suspended,” Kandekar said. The business losses, incurred due to the suspension of the number, were huge.
“We were to receive a set off of Rs 50,000, which we did not get. Our total losses can be easily pegged at Rs 80,000 and we failed to introduce the drug, which we had planned to launch in the market last month,” he added.