TAKE ON GST POST ONE YEAR OF IMPLEMENTAION
To take stock of the situation, post almost one year of CST implementation, ASSOCHAM organized a National Conclave on CST on June 27, 2018. Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Delhi government, Mr. Manish Sisodia was invited to share his thoughts on hits and misses of CST, which was implemented on July I, 2017.
Excerpts from his address to the audience:
The Centre should abolish ICST and E-way bill to make the Coods and Services Tax more effective, said Mr. Sisodia. "ICST is a bad idea, I have been opposing it from day one of the CST Council meeting," he said. Citing evidence as to how implementing ICST was a bad idea, the minister said that while INR 1.81 lakh crore had been collected from traders as part of ICST, this money has been lying idle in a sort of an escrow account and can neither be utilised by the
Centre nor the state governments.
"We need to look into this as it is causing loss of money and the government should conduct a study and take a decision on ICST which is not required at all," he said.
He also said that real estate should be a part of CST, something he had suggested during the CST Council meetings but surprisingly many of the ministers did not agree to the same.
"While the CST was launched with a huge fanfare showcasing it as • securing tax freedom, we did not bring real estate under its ambit whereas
freedom from black money was needed the most in this sector," added Mr. Sisodia.
He also said that government should conduct data driven inspections as CST which was supposed to bring an end to the inspector raj but it did not happen.
The deputy chief minister of Delhi further said that E-way bill concept should alsobe abolished. "More so in case of intra-state, because when everything is online then why do you need physical presence of inspectors on every check point?" Lamenting that CST was implemented in India in a hurried manner, without proper preparation certain, he said that the biggest mistake was terming it as' one nation-one tax' whereas it turned out to be' several taxes-one nation subsumed together.'
Mr. Sisodia also said that he had suggested in the CST Council meetings to somehow try and come up with an outof-the-box solution thereby implementing a single tax rate. "While it was suggested to reduce the rate in order to ensure wider tax compliance, not doing so was another big mistake."
He recalled how in the pre-CST regime, the revenue collections of Delhi rose to INR 48,000crore in three years from INR 31,000 merely by bringing down the tax rate.
The minister also informed that he has been getting lot of policy related representations on CST from different groups of traders during the morning public meeting hours, despite holding so many consultations and discussions. "This shows everything with CST is not going the way as was intended." He also suggested the Centre to acknowledge that mistakes have been committed during different stages of CST be it effective implementation, policy making, open approach or daring steps and the government should come up with effective solutions in this regard.
Mr. D. S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM welcoming Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM & Finance Minister, Govt. of Delhi, NCT.
Panel discussion on GST with Mr. Upender Gupta, Commissioner GSTPolicy Wing, (CBIC), Mr. Sumit Dutt Majumder, Former Chairman, CBEe, Mr. Prakash Kumar, CEO, GSTN and Mr. Jagmal Singh, VP (Designing Training) GSTN.
Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM & Finance Minister, Govt. of Delhi NCT addressing at the conclave.
Mr. Sujit Ghosh, Partner & National Head, Advaita Legal addressing the audience.
Mr. 1. K. Mittal, Co-chairman, National Council on Indirect Taxes, ASSOCHAM addressing the audience.