Channel Times Bureau
Mumbai: Against the backdrop of Demonetization and GST rollout from July 2017 and its impact on the IT channel community, Mumbai based Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) recently conducted a seminar on Corporate Governance to make its members aware about the statutory rules and labour laws. As part of its ongoing ‘Knowledge Series’, the workshop was theme on “Effective Administration of Statutory Compliance.”
The workshop was conducted by Ramesh Soni, Principal Consultant, RLS Consulting, who emphasized that compliance to statutes is in the best interests of cordial employer-employee relationships,and would in turn lead to the sustained growth of the organization.
Addressing the participating TAIT members Soni said, “Statutory compliance is a must for every progressive employer and it is important to comply with the laws of the land to make sure that the organization plays a positive role in encouraging transparency in business through corporate governance best practices. Usually, if not taken care of during the early days of founding of an organization, it may impact growth and corporate reputation.In the present competitive globalized business environment, it would be very demanding for an employer to handle statutory compliance without the support of a good payroll management solution.”
“There are a number of statutory compliance needs for Indian companies and they must invest a good proportion of the time in understanding and implementing their payroll management solution to make sure they are fully compliant with all relevant legal rules and regulations.If companies do not successfully adhere to statutory compliance requirements, they may end up having to pay penalties, which would cost several times more than complying with legal guidelines in the first place”, Soni further added.
Soni talked about key provisions like Provident Fund (PF), Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESIC), Bonus, Gratuity and related rules to help the TAIT members appreciate their significance in running business operations smoothly. Employers need to comply with statutory requirements based on the number of employees they have on their rolls. Employee benefits such as PF and ESIC are applicable when an organization crosses a strength of 20 employees or more.
He also briefed TAIT delegates about the traits of two types of employers in the SME sector - firstly, those who want to make sure all systems and facilities are available from the day an employee joins the organization, irrespective of their size; secondly, those who would like to deal with statutory issues as they arise.
The GST Council that recently met in New Delhi has reached a consensus on roll out of GST across the country from 1st July 2017. This was announced by Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, Government of India. According to the agreement reached between the Centre and the States at the 9th meeting of the GST Council, states will have powers to assess and administer 90 per cent of the tax payers under Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover while the remaining would be controlled by the Centre. For tax payers with more than Rs 1.5 crore turnover, states and the Centre will control and administer them in 50:50 ratio. Work on designing the systems and processes for the GST Network (GSTN) are at an advanced stage.
The current stress on building a cashless economy after the demonetization of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes announced in November 2016 also means that digital payment solutions will see increased adoption, adding to statutory reporting and compliance requirements.
Rushabh Shah, President, TAIT added, “Adhering to statutory compliance rules is essential for all SME organizations, to secure their businesses from legal difficulties. A profound knowledge of statutory compliance rules and regulations is needed to minimize risks linked with non-compliance. Like other critical business decisions involving branding, marketing, training and hiring of key employees, this aspect merits unwavering focus from the SME owner-manager.”
“The recent significant developments in the country’s legal/regulatory business environment mean that SME business owners and managers will be held up to higher standards of scrutiny than ever before. Transparency in operations and corporate governance best practices are not just a necessity but are seen as tools leveraged by enlightened corporate managements. This makes it all the more necessary for IT Business Partners to ‘walk the talk’ and adopt a structured approach towards day-to-day compliance issues,” he stated.
Shah believes that in the long term this would not only boost employee morale, but also lay the foundation for sustained innovation and revenue growth, a strong brand image and a healthy bottom-line.