Idea of single rate for GST ‘flawed’, says Arun Jaitley
Observing that countries implementing GST had witnessed major disruption, Jaitley said he too had felt that it would cause disruption in the Indian economy
Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said rollout the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has not been disruptive in the last one year and exuded confidence that higher revenue collections would enhance the capacity of the government to rationalise tax rates going forward.
Speaking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the GST rollout, the minister stressed that the best in terms of the impact of new tax regime on the GDP growth, ease of doing business, expansion of trade and industry, Make in India initiative and promoting honest business practices was yet to come.
He also dismissed the idea of a single rate GST being advocated by Congress president Rahul Gandhi as “flawed” saying that it can only work in a country where the entire population has ‘similar and high’ capacity to spend.Jaitley, who is recuperating from a kidney transplant, joined the ‘GST-Day’ celebrations through video conferencing.
GST which subsumed 17 local taxes was rolled out on July 1, last year. Currently over 11.4 million businesses are registered under the new tax regime.
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Observing that countries implementing GST had witnessed major disruption, Jaitley said he too had felt that it would cause disruption in the Indian economy.“I myself used to use the word disruptive when it came to major reform like GST because it takes time to settle down. But after one year of experience I’m not too sure whether I can use the word disruptive for GST reform. The smooth manner in which the changeover has taken place is almost unprecedented anywhere in the world,” Jaitley said.He said the the economy has seen “effective gains” of GST roll out in the last year. “…The best of GST, in terms of its contribution to society, is yet to come,” Jaitley said.
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 02nd July 2018