Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac, who had won applause during discussions with the Centre to formulate the GST regime of taxes that rolled out in the country, on Saturday said GST is all about perception. He said this while inaugurating the roll-out of GST in Kerala at a state level inauguration here. “Through GST it can lead to price rise, but many will ask how. Certain items which had an earlier rate of tax at 14.5 per cent are now placed in the 18 per cent tax rate. But one should not forget this very same item had an excise duty of 14 per cent, so when all the various taxes are added it would come to 28 per cent, but now it has come down to 18 per cent. One has to be careful as it’s all about perception and how one sees it,” said Issac, an economics professor-turned CPI-M politician.
He said that during his annual budget preparation they need not now look into the tax rates anymore, so for him it’s going to be an easy affair. “The price of 85 per cent of goods has come down. But the need of the hour is everyone should insist on bills and through that leakages can be effectively plugged,” added Issac.
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Issac said that in the coming days a detailed list will be published which shows the old and new rate of taxes of items, and the new GST software would be made available with the support of the National Informatics Centre. “Another feature would be that the revenue deficit of the state will come down and in a few years it will disappear,” added Issac. Both the CPI-M-led Left government and the Congress-led opposition have already expressed their opinion that through the GST roll out, Kerala being a consumer state will stand to gain with an increased level of tax collection, which in three years could increase by 20 per cent.