Of all the surveys that have been conducted by the citizen grievances portal who have a tie-up with the consumer affairs department of the central government, have concluded that one in every two people believed that the household costs had increased post the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The various surveys that were conducted received as many as 40,000 odd responses for the various questions that were asked.

GST, as it is seen, has been a headache for the government as the state finance ministers have also raised thousands of issues that were related to the implementation of this new reform in the council meeting that took place in Hyderabad a while back. The government has been trying to resolve a lot of issues but the rising prices may haunt them for a while, and this could have an adverse impact during the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.

What is the complaint about?

Approximately 54% of the people in a survey that was conducted by the consumer engagement platform Local circles believed that their monthly household expenditures have increased after the GST was implemented on 1st July 2017. The rise in the expenditures has been about 30%. Much against what the government was expecting, only 6% respondents out of 9000 believed that their monthly expenditures had come down.

Approximately 50% of the people who were surveyed also said that their monthly medical expenses had gone up. Among the many other complaints that were raised, the most prominent was the one that the traders many a time asked for cash payments rather than the GST invoice.

Few consumers also complained that there were scenarios where the traders charged above the MRP, while some shopkeepers had also cut down on the discounts as they were a bit uncertain about the impact of the GST on their business.

What else to worry about?

As the state governments raised a lot of concerns, the GST council extended the last date for filing sales returns through GSTR-1 till October 10th, 2017. Also, the tax rates for nearly 30 items were reduced. Leaving all this apart, the biggest worry for the government is the huge amount of refunds that are lying with them in their reserves. The finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitley said that since the independence this had been one of the biggest reform of the Indian government, which had led to the rise in government’s revenues.

The overall GST collections were very healthy with over 70% of the taxpayers filing their returns of about ₹ 95,000 crores. But out of this total input tax credit refunds of approximately ₹ 62,000 crores is due that has to be returned by the government. This would eventually make the net collections of nearly ₹ 33,000 crores.

The finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that the volume of the input tax credit claims that have been raised look a lot higher than what the government had expected.