Union Minister of State for DONER (IC), PMO, DAE, DoS, PPG&P, Dr Jitendra Singh, today termed the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as most effective economic and tax reform in independent India capable of evolving cooperative federal system in the Country.
Speaking at a function organized to mark the 68th Charted Accountants’ Day here at Zorawar Singh Auditorium, the Union Minister said the implementation of the new regime involved massive exercise which also manifested a unique work culture and determination of the government to complete this mammoth task. He said started as an economic reform, it eventually evolved into opening of new chapter in working of the government and pave way for achieving a cooperative federal system.
“This historical feat has been achieved with cooperation and consensus of all stakeholders including representation from all states, who were part of the GST Council. There was total unanimity and not even a single decision of Council required voting of the members for which there was a provision,” he added, while referring to voices of opposition being raised from certain quarters.
Dispelling the apprehensions being raised from different quarters, he said under developed states, common man and small traders are going to be the main beneficiaries of this historical reform.
He also defined GST as a path breaking move towards decentralization of financial power adding that government was not averse to invite suggestions even at this moment. “When question was raised about keeping fertilizers under 12 percent tax category, government reversed its decision at the eleventh hour and brought it under 5 percent category” Dr Singh said adding “Even now government will invite suggestions with an open mind.
Dr Jitendra also expressed optimism that the GST regime would be extended to state of Jammu and Kashmir soon. “We can’t live in isolation in this age of globalization so I hope GST will also roll out in J&K state soon” he added.
Listing various benefits of the new tax regime, he said to put it in simple words it has simplified the complex and multilevel tax system prevailing in the country. However, he said during the transition phase people may find it difficult to acquaint themselves with the system. To overcome this problem fifty thousand officials have been put on job to aware all stakeholders by holding awareness camps, interaction sessions and using all other means, he added.
The function was organized by the J&K branch of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and attended by CA fraternity and senior officials of the Government.
On the occasion, live address of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to CA fraternity at New Delhi was also displayed to the audience.