Kolkata, June 29, 2017

Meghwal allays fears over new tax regime

Trial runs of the GST Network — the technology backbone for the new tax regime — have been successfully carried out, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said here on Thursday.

According to him, human interface will be reduced under GST and signal the end of corruption and inspector-raj.
Filing of returns

“We have carried out the GSTN trial runs. The software has undergone all the mandatory tests,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Global Summit 2017 organised by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI).

Meghwal added that filing of returns under GST will be simpler. “The returns to be filed on the 10th of every month will be the main one. Subsequent ones will be generated automatically,” he said.

Small-time traders and businessmen have been complaining that filing too many returns a month makes the system complicated for them.

According to the minister, the Centre will consider all suggestions and feedback, and review the procedures periodically.
Reduced logistics cost

Elucidating the benefits of GST, Meghwal said logistics costs are set to go down under the new tax regime. Logistics costs here stand at 13.5 per cent compared to 8 per cent in developed countries, he said.

“A truck now takes at least six days to reach Chennai from Jammu. Under GST, the truck will reach Chennai in three days. Now imagine the cost savings. It will also improve ease of doing business,” he claimed.

Earlier, Meghwal had asked ICAI members to set up help desks and carry out awareness programmes on GST.

Asked about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s objections, Meghwal said the party and its MPs had supported the tax reform in Parliament.

Bengal, being a consuming state, will benefit from a desitnation-based tax system, despite its objections, he said.

Banerjee and her party MPs will boycott the midnight launch programme as a mark of protest.

“I have nothing to say about the TMC and Banerjee boycotting GST launch. The rollout will happen as scheduled. But, yes, Bengal will benefit the most from the new tax regime as it is a destination-based tax,” Meghwal added.

[The Hindu Business Line]