GST reduced tax rates, doubled taxpayer base
Finance Ministry says tax rate on large number of items came down post GST; Tax base now at 1.24 cr
New Delhi: The Finance Ministry on Monday said the GST regime has reduced the rate at which people have to pay tax, helped increase compliance and doubled the taxpayer base to 1.24 crore.
In a series of tweets on Monday, also the first death anniversary of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the ministry said before goods and services tax (GST) was introduced, the combination of value-added tax (VAT), excise, sales tax and their cascading effect resulted in high standard tax rate of up to 31 per cent. "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. The number of assessees covered by the GST at the time of its inception was about 65 lakh.
Now the assessee base exceeds 1.24 crore. GST, which subsumed 17 local levies and 13 cesses, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. Jaitley held the finance portfolio in the first term of the Modi government since 2014 and was the finance minister when the GST regime came into force. "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. The multiple markets across India, with each state charging a different rate of tax, led to huge inefficiencies and costs of compliance. "GST has reduced the rate at which people have to pay tax. The revenue neutral rate as per the RNR (Revenue Neutral Rate) Committee was 15.3 per cent.