GST to boost revenue, lower tax rates in future: Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout is a transformational move aimed at increasing revenues that will bring down the taxes in future. The GST, to be rolled out at midnight tonight, would subsume central and state levies like excise, sales tax and pave the way for a single indirect tax regime across India. "Under the GST regime, tax base will expand. More people will pay tax honestly. The GST experience may lead to lower tax rates in the future while tax revenue will go up," Goyal said at Aaj Tak GST conclave today. The minister also said, "It is undoubtedly a historical occasion. Never ever before this (moment), the nation thought of having one single tax after abolishing 17 taxes. No one thought that 29 states and the Centre would take a unanimous decision." He was of the view that after the GST rollout, the competition will not be among traders or businessmen for evading taxes but for providing quality products. "The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) - the technological backbone - has come up with a simple system for filing tax returns. This is the way for honest filing of taxes. There is no other way than honesty under the new regime," he added. About the Congress' decision to boycott the Special Session of Parliament for GST launch, he said, "Unfortunately, at some points of time, politics takes over economics. There might be some misunderstandings. The misunderstanding may not be in the entire party but among a couple of leaders." Goyal also said, "If two or four parties don't participate, it will not impact the celebration. This will rather send a wrong signal about their commitment on national issues as they (Congress) supported the GST but were now opting out of its historic launch. When we invited former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he was happy and said that he would take part in the function. But something changed since." The minister also dismissed apprehensions that the GST may lead to a bigger grey market of tax evasion. Goyal said, "Manish Sisodia might have said this out of ignorance. The GST will increase tax compliance rate and reduce grey market. What Sisodia said was 360 degree opposite of reality.
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