Current Affairs


GST & Related Issues

  • The Goods and Service Tax Bill or GST Bill, officially known as The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, proposes a national Value added Taxto be implemented in India from April 2016.
  • “Goods and Services Tax” would be a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India, to replace taxes levied by the Central and State
  • GST would be levied and collected at each stage of sale or purchase of goods or services based on the input tax credit method, irrespective of State.
  • Taxable goods and services are not distinguished from one another and are taxed at a single rate in a supply chain till the goods or services reach the consumer.
  • Administrative responsibility would generally rest with a single authority to levy tax on goods and services.
  • Exports would be zero-rated and imports would be levied the same taxes as domestic goods and services adhering to the destination principle.
  • The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be a significant step in the reform of indirect taxation in India. Amalgamating several Central and State taxes into a single tax would mitigate cascading or double taxation, facilitating a common national market. The simplicity of the tax should lead to easier administration and enforcement.
  • As India is a federal republicGST would be implemented concurrently by the central government and by state governments
  • India has a dual tax system for taxation of Goods And Services. The tax system is described by Central Taxes and State Taxes, which may be further subdivided into Excise Duty, Service Tax, VAT and Customs Duty.
  • The tax-rate under the proposed GST would come down, but the number of assesses would increase by 5-6 times. Although rates would come down, tax collection would go up due to increasedbuoyancy.
  • The government is working on a special IT platform for smooth implementation of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). The IT special purpose vehicle (SPV) christened as GST N (Network) will be owned by three stakeholders—the centre, the states and the technology partner NSDL
  • With heterogeneous State laws on VAT, the debate on the necessity for a GST has been reignited. The best GST systems across the world use a single GST, while India has opted for a dual-GST model. Critics claim that CGST, SGST and IGST are nothing but new names for Central Excise/Service Tax, VAT and CST, and hence GST brings nothing new to the table

Pros of GST bill :

  • GST is a transparent tax and also reduce number of indirect taxes. With GST implemented a business premises can show the tax applied in the sales invoice.
  • GST will not be a cost to registered retailers therefore there will be no hidden taxes and  the cost of doing business will be lower.
  • Benefit people as prices will come down which in turn will help companies as consumption will increase.
  • There is no doubt that in production and distribution of goods, services are increasingly used or consumed and vice versa. Separate taxes for goods and services, which is the present taxation system, requires division of transaction values into value of goods and services for taxation, leading to greater complications, administration, including compliances costs. In the GST system, when all the taxes are integrated, it would make possible the taxation burden to be split equitably between manufacturing and services.
  • GST will be levied only at the final destination of consumption based on VAT principle and not at various points (from manufacturing to retail outlets). This will help in removing economic distortions and bring about development of a common national market.
  • It will also help to build a transparent and corruption free tax administration. Presently, a tax is levied on when a finished product moves out from a factory, which is paid by the manufacturer, and it is again levied at the retail outlet when sold.

Benefit of GST for the Centre and the States

  • According to experts, by implementing the GST, India will gain $15 billion a year. This is because; it will promote more exports, create more employment opportunities and boost growth. It will divide the burden of tax between manufacturing and services.

Benefit of GST for individuals and companies

  • In the GST system, taxes for both Centre and State will be collected at the point of sale. Both will be charged on the manufacturing cost.
  • Individuals will be benefited by this as prices are likely to come down and lower prices mean more consumption, and more consumption means more production, thereby helping in the growth of the companies.

Some of Disadvantages/Cons of GST in India are given below 

  • Some Economist say that GST  in India would impact negatively on the real estate market. It would add up to 8 percent to the cost of new homes and reduce demand by about 12 percent.
  • Some Economist says that CGST(Central GST), SGST(State GST) are nothing but new names for Central Excise/Service Tax, VAT and CST.

Despite its assuring gestures Central Government is facing many issues with respect to implementation of GST. Do you think GST will serve as an answer to India’s present complex indirect tax system for good? Justify your answer.

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