GST at one: Govt pleasantly surprised by political class rallying behind tax regime; admits technology let it down initially

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, on Thursday said, the government expects to garner Rs 94,000 crore to Rs 95,000 crore in Goods and Service Tax (GST) collections every month. The Centre eventually hopes to end up with a monthly average of Rs 1 lakh crore in GST collections for the year, Adhia said.

The revenue secretary, who was speaking at the CNBC-TV18-PwC India GST conclave, opined that wrong input tax credit claims is an area that can be plugged, and that there exists plenty of room to improve revenue collection.

Talking about the GST rollout, Adhiua said that the way the political class came together as one was a positive surprise for the government, while technology letting the government down initially was a negative surprise.

Adhia went on to say that natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) might come under the GST in near future. Talking about the sugar cess, he said that it has its merits and demerits. However, the cess altogether is not a bad idea if it does not create compliance issues, he added.

A file image of Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

A file image of Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

Following the rollout of the GST in July 2017, the Centre set up a national anti-profiteering authority to penalise businesses that failed to pass on tax benefits to consumers. Adhia said that profiteering is not a countrywide issue and that he does not see it snowballing into a huge problem. He stated that only 30 cases of profiteering have been reported so far.

Meanwhile, Kerala's finance minister Thomas Isaac, speaking at the conclave, said that the GST implementation in the first year has been rather disappointing. Issac called for an immediate rollback on the excise duty levied on petroleum products. He said the fuel price rise could be contained by bringing petroleum products under the GST.

Manpreet Singh Badal, the finance minister of Punjab, opined that he would give the Centre a score of eight out of 10 for introducing the GST, but only two out of 10 for the way the roll out.

Furthermore, Mahender Singh, Member of GST, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), said that every state has a different problem with regard to GST implementation and that the five-year period is reasonable for compensation.

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Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 21:55 PM

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