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Revealing both the faces of GST : Know the positive and negative aspects

The Rajya Sabha has cleared a constitutional amendment to bring about a system of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. It is perhaps the most important economic reform item on the Narendra Modi government’s agenda. This is one reform which affects all of us.

GST is a consumption based tax levied on sale, manufacture and consumption on goods & services at a national level. This tax will be substitute for all indirect tax levied by state and central government. Exports and direct tax like income tax, corporate tax and capital gain tax will not be affected by GST. GST would apply to all goods other than crude petroleum, motor spirit, diesel, aviation turbine fuel and natural gas. It would apply to all services barring a few to be specified. With the increase of international trade in services, GST has become a global standard. The proposed tax system will take the form of “dual GST” which is concurrently levied by central and state government.

Many taxes has been subsumed under GST which are as under:

Central Indirect Taxes & Levies

Central Excise Duty
Additional Excise Duties
Excise Duty levied under the Medicinal Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955
Service Tax
Additional Customs Duty (CVD)
Special Additional Duty of Customs
Central Surcharge and Cess

State Indirect Taxes & Levies

VAT / Sales Tax
Entertainment tax (other than the tax levied by local bodies)
Central Sales Tax
Octroi and Entry Tax
Purchase Tax
Luxury Tax
Taxes on Lottery
Betting and Gambling
State Cesses and Surcharges

Positive aspects of the GST:

  • The main reason to implement GST is to abolish the cascading effect on tax. A product on which excise duty is paid can also be liable for VAT. Suppose a product A is manufactured in a factory. As soon as it releases from factory, excise duty has to be paid to central government. When that product A is sold in same state then VAT has to be paid to state government. Also no credit on excise duty paid can be taken against output VAT. This is termed as cascading effect since double tax is levied on same product.
  • The GST is being introduced to create a common market across states, not only to avoid enfeebled effect of indirect tax but also to improve tax compliance.
  • GST will lead a more transparent and neutral manner to raise revenue.
  • Price reduction as credit of input tax is available against output tax.
  • Simplified and cost saving system as procedural cost reduces due to uniform accounting for all types of taxes. Only three accounts; CGST, SGST, IGST have to be maintained.
  • GST is structured to simplify the current indirect system. It is a long term strategy leading to a higher output, more employment opportunities, and economic boom.
  • GST is beneficial for both economy and corporations. The reduced tax burden on companies will reduce production cost making exporters more competitive.

Negative Aspects of the GST :

  • GST is being referred as a single taxation system but in reality it is a dual tax in which state and centre both collects separate tax on a single transaction of sale and service.
  • At present the main Indirect tax system of central Government is central excise. All the goods and commodities are not covered by the central excise and further there is an exemption limit of Rs. 1.50 Crores in the central excise and further traders are not liable to pay central excise. The central excise is payable up to the stage of Manufacturing but now GST is payable up to the stage of sale.
  • Majority of dealers are not covered with the central excise but are only paying VAT in the state. Now all the Vat dealers will be required to pay “Central Goods and service tax”.
  • The calculation of RNR (Revenue Neutral Rate) is very difficult and further Govt. wants to enhance its revenue hence rate of Tax will be a problem. As per the News reports the proposed rate for State GST is 12% and Central GST is 14% Plus Govt. wants to impose 1% CST at the initial stage of GST on the interstate sale of Goods and services. So the normal rate of overall tax will be 26%. This rate is very high comparing to the fact that small and medium Industries are at present not covered by the central excise and most of the Goods such as agricultural products are out of the preview of the Central Excise.
  • Improvement in the Manufacturing and distribution of Goods and service, increase in exports, various reforms, check on corruption, less Government control are some of the factors which are responsible for the economic growth of the country. A tax system can make a revolution in the economy of the country is “rarest of the rare” thing.

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