Reduced tax, increased compliance: Nirmala Sitharaman recounts GST benefits in tribute to Arun Jaitley on death anniversary
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: On the first death anniversary of former Union minister Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday paid tributes to the late BJP leader by recounting the benefits of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the single tax regime introduced during Jaitley's tenure as the finance minister.
"From midnight, July 1, 2017, the unimaginable happened — all of India became one market, interstate barriers disappeared, multiple taxes were subsumed to become one, double taxation was eliminated, the cascading effect of taxes got mitigated. Recounting the benefits that this single tax has given us is the best tribute we can pay Jaitley today," Sitharaman wrote in her Indian Express article.
In a series of tweets, her ministry said that GST has reduced the tax rate, helped increase compliance and doubled taxpayer base to 1.24 crore. The ministry said that before the GST, the combination of value-added tax (VAT), excise, sales tax and their cascading effect resulted in high standard rate of tax up to 31 per cent.
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"It is now widely acknowledged that GST is both consumer and taxpayer-friendly. While the high tax rates of the pre-GST era acted as a disincentive to paying tax, the lower rates under GST helped to increase tax compliance," the ministry said.
GST, which subsumed about 17 local levies, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. Jaitley held the finance portfolio in the first term of the Modi government since 2014. "As we remember Arun Jaitley today, let us acknowledge the key role he played in the implementation of GST, which will go down in history as one of the most fundamental landmark reforms in Indian taxation," the Ministry tweeted.
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"Common-use items such as hair oil, toothpaste & soap have seen their tax rates come down from 29.3% in the pre-GST era to just 18% under GST.
"Tax on cinema tickets, earlier between 35% to 110%, has been brought down to 12% & 18% in GST regime. Most items of daily use are in 0 or 5% slab. Construction of residential complexes saw a steep reduction in rates to 5% in general & 1% for affordable houses," the ministry said.
Businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt. Initially, this limit was Rs 20 lakh. Additionally, those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1 per cent tax.
(With PTI Inputs)
Posted By: Shashikant Sharma