BUSINESS

Observations galore on GST roll-out anniversary

Revenue collection under the Goods and Services Tax in June crossed Rs 95,000 crore and was higher than the average monthly collection of Rs 89,885 crore during 2017-18

New Delhi, July 1:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated the people of the nation as the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) plan completed one year.

“I congratulate the people of India on the special occasion of GST completing one year. A vibrant example of cooperative federalism and a ‘Team India’ spirit, GST has brought a positive change in the Indian economy. #GSTForNewIndia,” Modi tweeted.

He also shared a poster on “One Year of GST” which listed down the achievements of the One Nation, One Tax.

“GST has brought growth, simplicity and transparency. It is boosting formalisation, enhancing productivity, furthering ‘Ease of Doing Business’, benefitting small and medium enterprises,” Modi wrote alongside the poster.

Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal also congratulated the nation on completion of one year on GST by calling it “the most transformative tax reform in India ever”.

Following Modi’s lead, Goyal also listed down how GST brought a change in the lives of people through ease of doing business, providing opportunities for SMEs, formalisation, and relief for consumers.
Touted as the biggest economic reform since Independence, the GST was launched on July 1, 2017, in a ceremony held in the Central Hall of Parliament on the midnight of June 30, 2017.

HASMUKH ADHIA: Revenue collection under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in June crossed Rs 95,000 crore and was higher than the average monthly collection of Rs 89,885 crore during 2017-18, the government said on Sunday.

The June GST collection at Rs 95,610 crore exceeded the previous month’s revenue of Rs 94,016 crore, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia announced at an event here to mark the first anniversary of the roll out of India’s new indirect tax regime.

“The June GST figure of Rs 95,610 crore represents an increase of Rs 1,600 crore in collections between May and June and is further proof of stabilising of the new tax regime.The April GST collection of Rs 1,03,000 crore was because of the March (financial year-end) effect. Otherwise average monthly collection for the last fiscal was Rs 89,885 crore,” he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that a most significant aspect of GST was the increase in collections in the last fiscal by 11.9 per cent over the revenue collection during the pre-GST regime.”There is an increase in tax buoyancy of 1.2 per cent, which was unknown previously,” he said.
P.CHIDAMBARAM: The Congress on Sunday attacked the Modi government on the first anniversary of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying it has become a bad word among business persons.

“The design, structure, infrastructure backbone, rate or rates and implementation of GST were so flawed that GST has become a bad word among business persons, traders, exporters and common citizens,” former Finance Minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram told the media.

He said the only section that appeared to be happy about the GST was the tax administration that had acquired extraordinary powers that frighten the average business person and the common citizen.”The net result is that what we have today is a very different animal and not a true GST,”he said. Chidambaram also stressed that the multiple rates, going up to 40 per cent, and arbitrary cess on top of the rates had completely “distorted the idea of GST”.

He said that because of the flawed design and hasty implementation, according to the statement of the Minister of Industry in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, 50,000 SME units in that state were closed in 2017-18 and 5 lakh jobs were lost. Chidambaram advised the government to bring petroleum products and electricity under GST.

ARUN JAITELY: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s idea of a single slab GST for India, terming it flawed.He added while there would be scope to merge some of the mid-category tax slabs depending on the collections going up, but a single-slab system will not work for India.

“A single slab GST can function only in those countries where the entire population has a similar and a higher level of paying capacity,” Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post today.

Since GST is a regressive tax, the poor have to be given a substantial relief. Thus most food items – agricultural products and the aam aadmi (common man) used products have to be tax exempt. Some others have to be taxed at a nominal rate. The others could be taxed higher.

“Eventually, as the collections improve, many more items from the 28 per cent category can possibly come down. Only sin products and luxury goods can remain there,” he said.

Jaitley also slammed Gandhi and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on their demand to bring petroleum products under GST, saying the Congress Finance Ministers in the states were not ready for it. He said it was the current government which worked out a formula to ensure that “petroleum products would be included in the Constitution amendment providing for the GST but the council can decide the date from which to bring them into GST”.

CII: Indian industry considers the Goods and Services Tax (GST)a step in the right direction and a majority are satisfied with its overall implementation, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said on Sunday citing its own survey.

Releasing a survey of over 200 businesses on the the first anniversary of the roll out of of GST, CII said that 83 per cent of respondents saw the new indirect tax regime a step in the right direction and 65 percent are satisfied with its overall implementation, despite some teething problems.
“A year into the implementation of GST, there is great optimism among businesses about the impact of GST on the economy. Satisfaction was high across the spectrum on GST implementation issues as well,” a CII statement said.

GST implementation led to increased efficiency for businesses by reducing their transportation time, on account of absence of state barriers, the report said.”GST has had a moderating impact on retail price inflation, which may have risen to higher level without the new tax regime,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in the statement.

ARVIND MEDIRATTA: Terming the GST a momentous reform, a wholesale retailer on Sunday said the tax regime, introduced a year ago, would lead to a unified national market while realty sector players said the key benefit for them was input tax credit though some grey areas remain.

“GST is one of the momentous reforms in the Indian taxation system as it has played a transformative role by making its structure simpler,” said Metro Cash & Carry India’s Chief Executive Arvind Mediratta in a statement here to mark the indirect tax regime’s one year.

Merging a plethora of central and state indirect taxes, the Union government unveiled the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system across the country on July 1, 2017. The GST subsumed various taxes, including sales tax, entry tax, value added tax and other related taxes.Despite initial glitches and delays due to mismatch of the technology platform between the vendor and its stakeholders, he said the new regime had rationalised the tax rates to four slabs and ensured compliance at every stage of the transaction.

“We have been educating and engaging our trade partners and grocery owners to align their businesses with the policies to make them GST-complaint. We began a GST helpline and set up kiosks before its roll out,” he said.

The government’s interventions to ease transition challenges, introduction of the composition scheme, simplifying the complex procedure to file returns and extending return-filing deadlines benefited the traders, he said, noting a “positive sentiment” among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) towards GST as compared to six months ago.

PIYUSH GOYAl: The Union Minister on Saturday said that a telephone helpline number will be started soon, where consumers can report against those traders who evade tax by not issuing purchase bill.

According to the Finance Ministry’s tweets, the Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance and Corporate Affairs also appealed to consumers to demand for bills, whenever they buy any goods or services which would help in reducing the rates under the GST. (IANS)