Uttar Pradesh (UP) Governor Ram Naik on Friday said that the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1 will be “the first Diwali for India’s economic sector after 70 years of Independence”.
Speaking at the Digital Transformation and GST Summit 2017 as Chief Guest, Naik said there has been a lot of anticipation about the GST but it is finally going to be implemented from July 1, which is about 14 years since the discussion about new indirect tax system first started in the country during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He said that the GST has taken the final shape after a long process of deliberations and has been approved by the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha and the state legislatures. “The way amrut (nectar) came from the long process of samudra manthan (churning of the sea), the GST is also going to turn out to be nectar for the country’s economy,” he said.
Naik said the economists are now saying that the new indirect taxation system could propel India’s growth rate to nine per cent. UP Finance minister Rajesh Agarwal, who was guest of honour at the function organised by the Indian Express Group and Microsoft, said the state will benefit more from the implementation of the new tax regime than other states because it has the largest number of consumers. He said the new system will remove several discrepancies prevailing in the indirect tax system for years.
He said that the state’s commercial tax department has organised about 1,000 seminars and workshops on the GST and the suggestions being given by the stakeholders will be communicated to the GST Council in the next meeting.
R K Tiwari, additional chief secretary, commercial tax department, said that the arrival of new indirect tax system after the implementation of GST will greatly reduce the cumbersomeness of the indirect taxation and increase the possibilities of “economic capacity, ability and development”.
Mukesh Meshram, commissioner, commercial taxes, UP, said that taking suggestions and complaints from stakeholders is a constant process which will continue and the state will keep forwarding them to the GST Council. He said the state has done a lot of preparation for “smooth transition” to the new taxation system.
Prashant Shukla, national technology officer, Microsoft India, said that the GST regime will decide where the country will go in the next five years. He also said that the country is still lagging behind when it comes to ease of doing business. Later, Anil Agarwal, ADG of UP-100, said the start of centralised emergency response system has brought huge change in the working of the police in the state. He said the technologies and procedures used by the UP-100 offer not just a large number of data to analyse the crime patterns but also cover the loopholes of the traditional policing.
He said that they implemented UP-100 in record time with its foundation stone being laid in December 2015 and the contact centre being inaugurated in November 2016. Agarwal said about 3,000 units are deployed across the state to respond to emergencies, while the whole call centre is run by the women executives, outsourced from the Tech Mahindra.
He said that the process was helping them in better policing as the complaint was being recorded by someone who is not part of the police department, thus increasing transparency. Agarwal said they are also starting a system in which the people will be able to upload the videos related to their complaints and the local police will have to incorporate them as evidence in the investigation of their cases.