Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Essay on GST - Goods and services tax for SSC and UPSC

Essay on GST - Goods and services tax for SSC and UPSC

Essay on GST
Goods and services tax is an indirect tax levied when a customer buys a good or service.
India's current tax scenario is riddled with various indirect taxes which the GST aims to subsume with a single pan India comprehensive tax, by bringing all such taxes under a single umbrella. The aims of the bill are to eliminate cascading effect of taxes on the production and distribution prices on goods and services.

Cascading effect of taxes is caused due to levy of different charges by state and union government separately. This tax structure raises the tax burden on Indian product, affecting their prices, and as a result, sales in the international market. New tax regime will therefore, help boost exports, in the changed scenario, the following taxes under Centre and States will be subsumed in GST.

Central Taxes replaced by GST Bill: central excise duty, additional duties of Excise and Customs, special additional duty of custom, Service Tax and Cess and surcharges on supply of goods and services.

State Taxes subsumed in GST Bill: VAT, Central sales tax, purchase tax, luxury tax, entry tax, entertainment tax, taxes on advertisement, lotteries, betting, gambling and State Cess and Surcharge.

The Lok Sabha passed the constitution (122nd amendment) (GST) Bill 2014 on 8th August 2016. The bill was passed by two third majority with 443 members voting in its favour and done against in the final vote. Introduced in Lok Sabha in May 2015, the Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on 3rd August 2016 with 203 votes in favour and none against. The passage of this historic GST Bill has now paved the way for the concept of one nation, one tax.

The union government has set the ambitious target to roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1st April 2017. It was announced by the union finance minister Arun Jaitley after unveiling a detailed road map for GST implementation. This announcement was made after Rajya Sabha had passed the constitution 122 (122nd amendment) (GST) Bill 2014.

Provisions of the Bill
  • The GST will have two components keeping in mind the federal structure of India: the central GST and the state GST.
  • For goods and services that pass through several States or imports the centre will levy another tax, the integrated GST.
  •  Alcohol for human consumption has been kept out of the purview of GST. 
  • It empowers the centre to impose an additional tax of up to 1% on the inter-state supply of goods for 2 years or more. This tax will accrue to states from where the supply originates.
  • Initially, GST will not apply to some products such as petroleum crude, high speed Diesel, motor spirit (petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel. The GST Council will decide when GST will be levied on them.
  • Tobacco and tobacco products will be subject to GST. The centre may also impose excise duty on tobacco.
  • Parliament may provide for compensation to states for revenue losses arising out of the implementation of GST for up to 5 years, based on the recommendation of the GST Council.

Benefits of GST:
For Industries and Businesses
  • There will be uniformity of tax rates and structures across the country. It will increase certainly and ease of doing business i.e. Make it tax neutral, irrespective of the choice of place of doing business in the country.
  • Due to removal of cascading, it will have a system of seamless tax-credits throughout the value chain, and across boundaries of States. It will help to reduce hidden costs of doing business.
  • It would make compliance easy and transparent. The GST Regime will have a robust and comprehensive IT system. Therefore, all taxpayer services such as registrations, payment, returns etc will be available to the taxpayers online.
  • It will reduce transaction costs of doing business that will eventually lead to an improved competitiveness for the trade and industry.
  • The subsuming of major Central and State indirect taxes in GST would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services. It will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give boost to Indian exports.

For Central and State Governments 
  • GST backed with a robust end to end IT system will be simpler and easier to administer than all other indirect taxes of the Centre and State levied so far.
  • The robust IT infrastructure of GST resign will result in better tax compliance that will curb leakages and insensitive tax compliance by traders.
  • GST will lead to higher revenue efficiency as it is expected to decrease the cost of collection of tax revenues of the government.

For the Consumer
  • Due to single and transparent tax proportionate to the value of goods and services: it will remove many hidden taxes leading to transparency of taxes paid to the final consumer.
  • The overall tax burden on most commodities will come down because of efficiency gains and prevention of leakages which will benefit consumers.

Goods and Services Tax has all the ingredients of a modern, seamless taxation system. But its success will depend on taking on board all the stakeholders and eliminating all the irritants which goes against the principles of GST. Goods and Services Tax will also contribute towards a robust macro-economic parameter, thereby increasing investor sentiment. Finally, the consumers will be ultimate beneficiary as it would eliminate the cascading effect of tax

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