The Future of the GST Experiment

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The GST council has today met at Guwahati to discuss and implement a slab shuffle in certain articles from the highest slab to the lower ones. The 40 odd goods that have remained in the top most slab are of course the luxury and the sin goods, while the normal goods like chocolates, pipes, and other items, 140 in number have been reduced and placed in the 18% slab.

This is a welcome step combined with a measure to allow the assessees with monthly turn over of less than INR 1 crore to file quarterly returns. With this the assessees are also required to file monthly summary which will be of some help for the revenue department.

These measures are welcomed, but there needs to be a robust mechanism to address the queries of the 45 lakh entities registered with the GST Network.

The GST in motion has disturbed the ordinary accountant leading him to assessing incorrect returns and being unable to get his grievances resolved. The GST is a bold move, but the government has to publish more data to promote and facilitate a smooth transition in the small and medium businesses where lack resources affects upgradation.

Apart from the regular application of the goods and services tax to the 1200 approximate items, it is opportune time to extend it to Energy, Fuel and Real Estate sectors too. The government has to keep the future in mind when it is moulding the future of taxation in India.

The GST has yielded in a loss of revenue to the states which implies that the Centre needs to pump in to make for the deficiencies in their balance sheets. The more aggravating feature is the realisation of the expected amount of revenue has not been registered so far. This needs to balance every scale with an eye on the future of the Indian market.

The Indian market will be a more unified market if the power, fuel and real estate are also brought under the GST net. This will offer a stale price band and the cascading prices of these commodities may be monitored, hence enhancing transparency and wider revenue collection in the long run.

The GST has been marked as the biggest overhaul since the independence, and it thus remains like every other law, an experiment aimed improving the status of the economy. The move will surely need more deliberations and revisions until a uniform pace of collection and subjective understanding is not achieved by the masses.

Another consumer friendly measure would be to make the consumers aware of their liability towards their state and the centre, which must be disclosed for giving effect to the promise of a transparent market.

The GST council has made a devastating move by bluntly taxing all the restaurants now with 12%, this is not a justified move. In India the food market is growing each day, the Food Inspectors must conduct audits of all the restaurants and the based on the infrastructure of a restaurant and the quality of food served the taxation must be done. The current move will not let the government bring most of the eateries under the GST net, while the quality of food will also not be up to the grade.

 

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