Mumbai: A not-so-smooth shift to GST leaves traders in a lurch

Traders' group complains that with the Shops and Establishment department making the move online, the servers are unable to keep pace and create several issues

It's been two weeks since the nation made the switch to GST, and the issues with implementation are now coming to the fore. One of the departments that seems to be suffering in the new regime is the city's Shop and Establishment department, with a complete breakdown of online services like registration, renewal and payment.

To make matters worse, the traders group in the city claims that even as civic body has already shut down the manual payment in the local wards, glitches in the online system has left them helpless.

Server woes
Speaking to mid-day, secretary of Shiv Sena Vyapari Sangathana, Jayesh Shah said, "Recently, the server for online system was shut for 10 days and we were not able to pay charges for either registration or renewal. The system has several issues, like several times after payment, we does not get an acknowledgment receipt. So mistakenly, we end up paying multiple times."

Also Read: GST effect: Check price tag to avoid being duped

He added, "With each payment, we have been charged a small amount for using online services. However, though we get the refund of extra payment within seven days, the service charges are not refunded. It is the system's problem, then why are service charges not paid back?"

A trader, on condition of anonymity, said, "Sometimes, the system crashes while we are uploading documents and then we have to go down to the ward office. It's very serious issue, as we are also trying to get used to of the new system and with this, can't rely on it completely."

The other side
A senior official from Shops and Establishment department said, "There was a technical problem in the server. Now, the services are normalised again. Also, due to GST we are making changes in the system accordingly."

Also Read: Mumbai: Now, you'll have to pay a heavier fine if your vehicle is towed

Speaking to mid-day, a senior official from the IT department said, "After the GST, there were a lot of things that had to be changed in the existing system. Also, sometimes, too many people try to login and due to the spike, it slows down. But now everything is running smoothly."

5.5 lakh
Number of shops and establishments across the city

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