oppn parties Welcome Move To Seek Suggestions For Systemic Overhaul Of GST

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
Welcome Move To Seek Suggestions For Systemic Overhaul Of GST

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The government has decided to set up a 12-member committee to suggest a complete overhaul of the GST system. This was long overdue. The GST was applied in haste when it was still work in progress. There were several flaws and shortcomings that crept in. Some major ones have been taken care of in the subsequent meetings of the GST Council, but other more serious ones have been discovered through the actual application of the tax regime over the years. These shortcomings have allowed unscrupulous businessmen to avoid compliance, evade taxes and even make use of the input tax benefit to commit serious fraud by raising false bills or use the inverted duty structure to pay less than due.

Hence, the decision to set up the committee is welcome. The committee needs to suggest a complete systemic overhaul of the GST regime through feedback from all the stakeholders. Since the GST has replaced a plethora of taxes, it has become the only source of revenue for both the Centre and the states, except for a few sectors. Hence, leakages have a serious effect on revenue generation and thus prevent governments from spending on nation-building.

The loopholes need to be plugged. Compliance needs to be improved by making the system simpler. Reporting has been made much simpler than it was when the system was introduced but if there is scope, it should be further simplified to ease the burden on small traders. Cross-platform tax structure (especially import duties) and rates need to be revisited to do away with the incentive to juggle bills provided by the difference in rates.

Although the system looks foolproof as both purchase and sales invoices need to be uploaded facilitating cross verification and easier detection of fraud, umpteen cases of taking undue benefit of input tax by raising false bills have come to light. The government has lost crores due to this. This is one area where the committee needs to suggest tighter monitoring through set procedures and red flags must be inbuilt in the system to detect such fraud.

No system can be absolutely foolproof as there always be ingenious minds who will find a loophole. But the system should be made so robust that such loopholes can be identified when the first person takes advantage of it and plugged before any serious leakage. That should be where the committee should apply its mind and come up with strong suggestions.