Simplification of Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, rationalisation of rates, and removal of tax inversion are among the priority for the government of India, Tarun Bajaj, Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance, said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the CII interactive session with the Ministry of Finance on 'GST - Five Year Journey of Tax Transformation and the Way Forward', Bajaj said the GST reform is undergoing an evolution.
"The Government is looking forward to having lower rates on fewer products, with indirect taxes contributing 35-40 per cent of the tax revenue," he said.
Bajaj said the "Government as a first step is deliberating on the inclusion of ATF and Gas under the GST net in the successive GST Council meetings."
Technology can help to a great extent in centralised registrations, but coordination between states is required and can be made possible going forward, he added.
Speaking at the session, Vivek Johri, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, Ministry of Finance said, "There have been very clearcut gains from the implementation of GST like digitalisation of the ecosystem, high degree of formalisation of the economy, increased awareness about taxation and enhanced logistics efficiencies."
"Tax base has almost doubled from 65 lakh taxpayers at the start to almost 1 crore 38 lakh now," Johri added.
"GST, despite its ups and downs in the last 5 years, has helped create one single market. I compliment CBIC and GSTN for bringing us where we are today. The setting up of GST Appellate Tribunals, as has also been discussed in the GST Council meeting, should be expedited to further reduce the delay in filing of appeals," said Sanjiv Bajaj, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
"The continuous drive of the Government to implement reforms and bold interventions will create new opportunities for India's growth," Bajaj said.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said there is a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises and want to avail of Input Tax Credits (ITC).
"Industry is hopeful that the momentum of tax reforms shall continue. Industry looks forward to simplification of some provisions of the GST law, and removal of inconsistencies which have been industry concerns for quite a while," Banerjee said.
Uday Pimprikar, Chairman, CII Core Group on BEPS and Indirect Tax Leader, EY India said, "Everybody realises that GST implementation is an ongoing journey. The past five years have been a stupendous success. Through policy and technology, compliance culture of the country has changed and the consequent formalisation of the economy has triggered record collections on the direct tax front too."
"The next phase of reform could focus on mitigating cascading impact on the economy, simplification and decriminalisation of the legislation," said Pimprikar. (ANI)