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Shaktikanta Das, Amitabh Kant hail 'historic' midnight rollout of GST

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 July 2017, 10:30 IST

Former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das, who was present at the Central Hall of the Parliament for the special midnight session, tweeted that he was fortunate to witness 'history being made', with the official rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"Fortunate to be in Central Hall of Parliament when history was made with the launching of GST," Das tweeted.

Earlier on 30 June, Das lauded the introduction of the GST as a timely and transformative measure, which will catapult the Indian economy into a much higher level of transparency, efficiency and competitiveness."The GST is a huge step for the Indian economy because it is an economic reform program, which has a sheer magnitude of transformative measure that will make businesses very competitive," said Shaktikanta Das.

He said that currently, there is a lot of anticipation globally, wherein the other economies of the world want to see of how the GST will impact the market as a whole.

"The reform will make the Indian economy a far more transparent economy as it will eliminate the growing parallel economy in the country," added Das.

"Any delay in GST will mean that the economy will suffer, the business will suffer and the growth of the country will be stifled," added Das while commenting on the plea of traders to delay the transformational tax reform.

Furthermore, he said the traders' concerns are genuine as any new reform implemented takes its own time. "But with the passage of time, they will realise that GST will ultimately create a situation where tax compliance will be simpler for everyone."

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who was also present at the Parliament session, took to Twitter to congratulate Revenue Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia on the successful launch of the GST.

"Immense honour to b in Central Hall of Parliament at the launch of GST. Gr8 speeches by PM, FM & President of India.Positivity & Optimism! Congratsor all your passion, commitment, hard work & teamwork! Full credit 2 you & your team 4 d launch of #GST Gr8 effort!" he tweeted.

The biggest tax reform since independence - GST - will pave the way for realisation of the goal of One Nation - One Tax - One Market.It will benefit all the stakeholders namely industry, government and consumer as it will lower the cost of goods and services give a boost to the economy and make the products and services globally competitive, giving a major boost to ' Make in India' initiative.

Under the GST regime, exports will be zero-rated in entirety unlike the present system where refund of some of the taxes does not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States.

However, GST will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers. GST is largely technology driven and will reduce the human interface to a great extent. GST is expected to improve ease of doing business in India.

In majority of supplies of goods, the tax incidence approved by the GST Council is much lower than the present combined indirect tax rates levied [on account of central excise duty rates / embedded central excise duty rates / service tax post-clearance embedding, VAT rates or weighted average VAT rates, cascading of VAT over excise duty and tax incidence on account of CST, Octroi, Entry Tax, etc.] by the Centre and State(s).

The GST Council has decided the final structure of GST as follows:

• The threshold limit for exemption from levy of GST is Rs. 20 lakh for the States except for the Special Category, where it is Rs 10 Lakh.

• A four slab tax rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent has been adopted for GST.

• A cess would be levied on certain goods such as luxury cars, aerated drinks, and pan masala and tobacco products, over and above the GST rate of 28 percent for payment of compensation to the states.

• The threshold for availing the Composition scheme is Rs. 75 lakh except for special category States where it is Rs. 50 lakh and they are required to file quarterly returns only. Certain categories of manufacturers, service providers (except restaurants) are out of the Composition Scheme.

Other important Features of GST are:-

• GST envisages all transactions and processes to be done only through electronic mode, to achieve non-intrusive administration. This will minimise tax payer's physical interaction with the tax officials.

• GST provides for the facility of auto-populated monthly returns and annual return.

• It also facilitates the taxpayers by prescribing grant of refund within 60 days, and provisional release of 90 percent refund to exporters within seven days.

Further facilitation measures include interest payment if refund is not sanctioned in time, and refund to be directly credited to bank accounts.

• Comprehensive transitional provisions for ensuring smooth transition of existing taxpayers to GST regime, credit for available stocks, etc.

• Other provisions include system of GST Compliance Rating, etc.

• Anti-profiteering provisions for protection of consumer rights.


First published: 1 July 2017, 10:30 IST