The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) which is building the technological infrastructure for the implementation of GST, has finalised 34 companies as the GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs), which will offer support and services to help tax payers and businesses in compliance. The GSTN had released an initial list of 48 companies from over 200 applications it had received last month. These companies, which were shortlisted based on eligibility criteria, had to move through the second round of qualification by showcasing their technical capabilities through a demonstration of a functioning model as a GSP with effective tax payer-oriented services. Several leading tech companies such as TATA Consultancy Services, Tally Solutions, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, and Mastek Limited have been selected as GSPs. An official of GSTN said that after the selection process, they will sign agreements with the selected companies post which an on-boarding session will be held. "It will be to familiarise them with the law and the rules but we are not giving them any target for roll out. It will be upto the efficiency and ability of each one of them to build their own interfaces." The person added that during the demos some companies were very well prepared and seemed ready with everything so they should not take much time to launch. The on-boarding session will be held sometime in Delhi next week.
"We are happy to have progressed to the next stages of acquiring a GSP Licence, and hope to be one of the major solution providers for the country," said Bharat Goenka, managing director at Tally Solutions. "The GST Law continues to be a major concern due to the Input Credit rules, which will wipe out almost the entire SME market – and we are hoping that by the time the technology solutions are done, this problem is corrected. We remain at the forefront to champion this cause – both for getting the best possible technology out, and the best possible law out for the businesses of the country," he added. The criteria for eligibility to be a GST Suvidha Provider was considered stringent by many in the industry, as it did not allow smaller companies and startups to join in what is seen as a revenue-generating opportunity. Only an IT/ITeS or financial company with paid-up (raised capital) of at least Rs 5 crore and an average turnover of at least Rs 10 crore during the last three financial years was eligible to become a GST Suvidha Provider. However, companies that cannot apply to be a GST Suvidha Providers could route their services through NSDL, the National Securities Depository and other qualified service providers. Some of the other shortlisted GSPs include Ernst & Young LLP, Cygnet Infotech Private Ltd, Vayana Private Limited and Karvy Data Management Services Limited. The entire list is available on the GSTN website. Meanwhile the registrations on the portal have crossed 7 lakh with 70 per cent of taxpayers from Gujarat already registered and 30 per cent of those from Maharashtra. Big states such as Delhi and UP are expected to start registering from next week onwards.