GST: Get Set Go

In the run-up towards last leg of GST implementation, our recent interactions with companies and trade channels suggest: a) significant slowdown in past 2 weeks of June across several sectors; b) inventory liquidation is wider than initial expectation and could last beyond Q1FY18; c) most participants suggested normalisation only from Q3FY18; and d) FMCG, auto ancillaries after-market sales, pharmaceuticals, plywood and tiles are most impacted, while auto OEMs and cement seem to be least impacted. Finalisation of tax rates and rules has made the hazy roadmap to the July 1 implementation clearer, though interspersed with few hiccups thereon. It is encouraging to see the government’s intent to ensure smooth rollout of GST through relaxation of various requirements (deferral of e-way bill, extension of returns filing, increase in composition limits, relaxation for e-commerce, etc). We reiterate that GST will usher in a much simplified tax structure in the country, bring in cost efficiencies and result in market share shift from unorganised to organised players. We remain structurally positive on sectors like building materials, plastics, electrical equipment, logistics, luggage, automobile and FMCG (including tobacco and jewellery).

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