Bengaluru (IANS) - Asserting that Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be implemented from July 1, Union Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia (pictured) on May 30 said the new tax regime would create lot of jobs for youth. "The GST will certainly be implemented from July 1 and will help in creating lot of jobs for young generation," said Adhia at a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders, including tax assesses, traders and representatives of trade unions.
Noting that the new tax system would be a game changer, he said that GST would help in converting the economic energy into real growth, as the country's economic potential was much higher. "GST will lead to ease of doing business, allow compliance with its various provisions, bring in uniformity of different tax laws and rules and transfer of input tax credit," he said.
In response to a query on the four rates (5, 12, 18 and 28%) at which the GST would be applied to diverse goods and services, Adhia hinted that they could be rationalised on justified considerations. On the concerns of the food processing sector, he said a decision on the rates for foodgrains like wheat and rice would be taken in the next GST Council meeting on June 3.
Observing that the GST was a major customer-friendly indirect tax reform, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Byre Gowda said the government's intention was not to increase taxes but revenue through transparency, simplification and efficiency in tax administration.
"GST will also help in curbing tax evasion and lead to tax buoyancy," he said. The inter-active session was jointly organised by the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax, Central Board of Excise & Customs and the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Karnataka as part of GST's Outreach Programme.
However, Amit Mitra, West Bengal's finance minister and Chairman of the empowered committee on GST said the new regime should not be rolled out from July 1. "GST is not fully prepared and ready, rules and forms are not completed. So July 1 must not be finalised as the date for the roll-out of GST," Mitra said. He expressed doubts over whether the small and medium-scale industries were equipped to handle the new tax regime and pointed out that West Bengal has sought reduction in the proposed rates for a number of products.
Citing examples, Mitra said the "fight was still on" against the proposal to levy 12% tax on cashew nuts. "They had said that shoes would be taxed at 12%. We have proposed that shoes costing up to Rs 500 should be tax-free. Why should slippers worn by poor people be taxed?" he asked.