Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said today that while implementing GST, the government has sacrificed revenue in the hope that compliance would improve in the future. The organised sector has gained in the process and the improvement is evident in companies’ balance sheets, he said. “We know how much of revenue loss we have incurred on GST and that must have gone to somebody’s balance sheets. So even at the cost of initial government revenue, which is sacrificed in the hope that the compliance will be better in future, the organised sector industry for sure has gained in the process of GST implementation,” he said at the post-Budget CII meet. The Goods and Services Tax was introduced from July 1, 2017. It subsumed over a dozen central as well as local taxes, including excise and service tax, taking the country to one-nation, one-tax regime. As per the latest Economic Survey, GST has increased indirect taxpayer base by more than 50 per cent with 34 lakh businesses coming into the tax net. The highest number of GST registrants are in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have seen large increases in the number of tax registrants compared to the old tax regime.
GST collections in July were over Rs 95,000 crore, while in August the figure declined to over Rs 91,000 crore. In September, it was over Rs 92,150 crore, October – Rs 83,000 crore, November – Rs 80,808 crore and December – Rs 86,703 crore. Adhia said industry has welcomed GST as it is expected to streamline manufacturing activity, bring down logistics cost and benefit the balance sheet of companies. “When I got the figures of third instalment of advance corporate tax. I did see a lot of improvement in the balance sheet of companies. And I would like to believe that it is mainly because of GST,” he said.
He said the tax payer base has gone up after the GST roll out as well as demonetisation and there has been a concerted effort to make India a tax compliance society. E-way bill and invoice matching in the new indirect tax regime will help curb evasion, Adhia added. He said GST and demonetisation were part of the government’s “sustained campaign” against tax evasion.
“There has been a concerted effort by the government to give a message to the society that let us all become a tax compliant society rather than a tax non-compliant society. We have already seen very good result of this two major reforms,” Adhia said.