The government will celebrate July 1 as ‘GST Day’ as the new indirect tax regime completes one year on Sunday. The finance ministry on Saturday said that it binds the country into an Economic Union as it has subsumed over a dozen local levies and transformed India into “one nation, one tax”.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out in the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, last year, in a ceremony held in the Central Hall of Parliament.
“Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs Piyush Goyal will preside over as the Chief Guest of the event and Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla will be the Guest of Honour,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
The ministry has claimed that under GST, every minute detail of every item sold is being digitally uploaded in a central tax database for over eight million Indian businesses. However, the opposition has termed such statements as tall claims in the past and has been critical of the taxation reform.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has also acknowledged certain challenges that GST will pose, despite its “multiplier effect” on the economy. “A change as comprehensive as GST is bound to pose certain challenges not only for the government but also for the business community, tax administration and even common citizens of the country,” the ministry said today.
“GST will have a multiplier effect on the economy with benefits accruing to various sectors such as exporters, small traders and entrepreneurs, agriculture and industry, common consumers,” the ministry added.
It said the introduction of e-way (electronic way) bill is a “monumental shift” from the earlier ‘Departmental Policing Model’ to a ‘Self-Declaration Model’. “It envisages one e-way bill for movement of the goods throughout the country, thereby ensuring a hassle-free movement of goods throughout the country,” the ministry said.
Transporter of goods worth over Rs 50,000 have to generate an e-way bill and show it to GST inspector, if asked. The inter-state e-way bill system was introduced on April 1. As regards intra-state e-way bill, it was rolled out in phases from April 15.
However, in the wake of rising fuel prices, experts have called for bringing petrol and diesel under GST. But the question stays whether this can help provide relief to customers. In December last year, former finance minister Arun Jaitley had told the Rajya Sabha that the Central government was in favour of bringing petroleum products under the ambit of GST after building a consensus with states. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also backed the call to bring the two fuels under GST.
-With inputs from PTI