The Goods & Services Tax (GST) launched on 1st July, 2017 has more or less impacted every major and minor business sector in the Country. GST is comprehensive tax levy on production point to consumption point. It was hoped that implementation of Goods & services Tax (GST) will transform India’s Tax regime, making the system more transparent and put in order. Small and Medium Enterprises are the backbone / primary growth operators of our economy. In India, approximately three / four million small and medium enterprises have been operating business. GST is, as usual, applicable to almost every retail supply, affecting the cost for the end consumers.  Also it is a leading employment generating sector. Further, it enhances the tax-payer base by bringing them under its ambit as earlier most of the retailers usually escape the tax liability due to the absence of any mechanism by which their actual purchase and sale can be monitored. Still, there is a debate going on against the practice of different slabs of indirect taxes on different goods and services under GST, in public, intellectual and political groups in India. In this respect, rare grass root level studies have made regarding pros and cons of the implementation of GST in India. The present study is an effort to find out the perception of small retailer’s of Varanasi about the impact of GST on their business. In the survey work the students of B. Com (Hons.) 3rd year of DAV PG College (Session 2022-23) have worked as ‘Investigators’ while the Faculty Members of Department of Commerce have supervised the entire work. The Research Scholars also assisted the Faculty Members in supervising the survey work. The survey work has been completed with the financial assistance provided by the College. During the survey, most of the respondents were of the view that implementation of GST has brings many benefits for the retailers like: lower taxes, provision of input tax credit, reduced complications as they can file the returns online, new promotional strategies, ideal for start-ups etc. After conducting this survey it can be concluded in the end that implication of GST by abolishing all other indirect taxes is a good initiative by the government, However, there are few grievances of the taxpayers which the GST council, as well as the Central Government, needs to immediately address. Only if the below points are taken into account with an iron hand can GST be the success it was promised to be on the mid-night of 1st July, 2017.
  1. Rationalisation with one or two tax slabs
  2. Simplified procedures for filing returns
  3. 100% FDI in single brand retail
In conclusion, we can say about the impact of GST on retail sector that GST has laid the path for a more organised and transparent retail sector. The loopholes are the technical glitches of GSTN Network and taxpayer’s non-compliance. The GST council can surely overcome these issues and ensure proper compliance by taking measures like educating people through social network websites as well as NGO’s. For a tax system like GST to work, government and people must be responsible and compliant. In this present era of globalisation there is a need for systematic tax system and GST will not only bring transparency but also would promote economic situation of the country. Earlier every state had its own tax rates which created a lot of confusion and complicated process and also there was increase in price of the goods. By replacing the old tax system with the new tax system will generate reduction in complexity and reduction in prices of goods. The implementation of GST in retail shops affects our everyday lives in different ways. The impact of GST on retail sector is going to be positive from taxation and operation point of view. During the implementation stage of GST, the retailers faced some complexities because they were not fully aware about GST. Sometimes consumers feel higher price for goods and services after the implementation of GST. But in certain circumstances, they will also get benefits from GST. They were relieved from earlier overall tax burden. It’s very difficult to say that whether the impact of GST is good or bad, but one thing is very clear that its implementation in retail shops helps our society work in more efficient and cost-effective manner. The fundamental of ‘ONE NATION, ONE TAX’ was created with an intention to easy tax filing, ease of doing business in other states, reduction in the prices of goods, relieving the burden of logistic overhead from small enterprises. On the contrary, it has increased the technology dependency of every enterprise, as every transaction is made online. It will take some time for the people to get used to the new taxation regime, only then will the nation start to see the fruits of ‘ONE NATION, ONE TAX’ – the GST. This is the best change which has brought a lot of change to the economy.