GST may put millions of Indian youth to work

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In a bid to gear up for the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST), companies across sectors are pushing to sort their GST teams, which has led to an increase in the hunt for tax and technology professionals.

Some of the sectors such as FMCG, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, real estate, banking and insurance, are burning the candle at both ends to form a firm team to benefit from the new tax regime, as per industry experts.

As per estimates, it has been predicted that the GST is set to create jobs for 1.3 million professionals.

Consultants and experts in the field have stated that the GST portal, where companies are registered, will eventually need about 9 million assesses. For instance, if one per cent of large companies requires five people to handle GST-related issues, and 10 per cent of midsized firms need at least one person to handle GST, the revolutionary tax regime may create demand for 1.3 million jobs.

While existing workforce can handle some of the clauses of GST, the need to hire new talent is being mulled significantly, as per experts. It has come to light that the GST rollout would create a pool of jobs for lawyers, chartered accountants, cost accountants.

On the technology front, companies are also scouting for software professionals to ensure smooth transformation and synchronisation with government databases.

“There has been an upsurge in indirect tax openings across the corporate sector and we see various positions such as GST manager, VP-GST, or GST team leader coming into vogue,” told MS Mani, senior director, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP.

“While indirect tax function in various businesses has existed in the past, what we are witnessing now is not merely a rechristening of indirect tax as GST, but also the emergence of new positions amongst corporates,” he added.

While there are several predicaments related to GST rollout, it will clearly create numerous job opportunities to increase operational efficiency.

Semi-skilled jobs 

Sources have also told ET that there will be a high demand for semi-skilled workers, which will include carpenters, masons, plumbers, draftsman, tailors, weavers, food technologists, and marketing jobs in the retail segment.

 “The sectors where jobs are likely to be created are low-cost housing, textiles, leather and food processing,” said VS Krishnan, tax advisor-policy advisory group, EY India, confirmed to ET.

“This is largely because the duty in textiles has been brought down and steps for the formalisation of the sector has been initiated, which may encourage domestic and foreign investment, especially in the apparel segment,” he added.

Rise in Govt jobs?

While government jobs have shown a negative trend in terms of hiring, experts feel that GST rollout may lead to job creation within the government bodies.

“The central indirect tax authorities and state indirect tax authorities, which are going to administer GST, may not have enough officials to handle the workload that they will be confronted with once GST is launched,” said Mani.

Contractual or temporary hiring

It has also come to light that temporary jobs will gain a big boost during the GST regime and all sectors except Cement and IT are likely to create a number of contractual jobs, as per a Teamlease report on GST and its impact on jobs.

Will the job trend continue?

While the GST rollout is going to create a huge opportunity for more than 1.3 million people, the employment rush could be short-lived, adds the report. It is clear that a lot of people will have to be hired initially to help with GST transformation, but experts feel that those employed to govern the transition may become redundant in future.

Confirming the aforementioned possibility, MS Mani said, “What remains to be seen is whether the demand of resources having a GST background is temporary or is this going to result in long-term positions across organisations.”

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