The government today said as many as 77.5 lakh traders are registered on GSTN and help desks have been set up in every commissionerate to facilitate filing of tax return. “Till July 18, 2017, the total number of GSTIN (Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number) registration is 77,55,416,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. He further said Internet is not required for doing or conducting business, but it would be required only for the purpose of filing of returns under the GST. “The government has ensured that the return filling process is made convenient for all taxpayers by setting up help desks in every commissionerate and by appointing GST Suvidha Providers,” he said. Gangwar in another reply said it is difficult to predict whether corruption will be wiped out, but the implementation of GST will definitely bring about transparency in business operations related to taxation. The implementation of GST in itself is expected to have a positive impact on the overall growth of the economy, he said, adding that it is also expected to have a positive impact on the ease of doing business and making India an even more attractive destination for foreign investments.
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Various studies, including that from NCAER, have estimated that growth in GDP to be around 1-2 per cent due to the implementation of GST. Replying to another question, Gangwar said, since GST has been implemented only with effect from July 1, it cannot be stated that it helps to bring out black money at this moment. However, he said, the provision in SGST, CGST, UTGST and IGST have a self policing mechanism.