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The GST Council is India's first consensus based federal decision making body : Union Minister Arun Jaitley

During the celebrations of the First GST Day on 1 July 2018 with Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal  as the president and Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla as the Guest of Honour, Union Minister Arun Jaitley addressed through a live video link bringing out in details the advantages of lasting merit GST has brought to the nation and said that gthe GST Council is India's first consensus based federal decision making bodyh and it had an unequivocal support of the Prime Minister of India.

Pointing out the pre-GST taxation system as eone of the most complicated tax systems in the worldf he said GST has persuaded people to do businesses in a transparent manner without evading taxes..

Listing out the remarkable successes that the GST has achieved in a short span of 1 year, an official statement says, Shri Jaitley said that this reform has created a unified market, the cascading of taxes has been eliminated, the weighted average of total taxation basket has come down, the GST Council is working upon continuous rationalisation of tax slabs, advance direct tax payments increased as result of successful implementation of GST, among others. The Minister informed that the total indirect tax collection for 9 month period in previous financial year post implementation of GST is about Rs. 8.2 lakh crores, which if extrapolated for the whole year comes to about Rs. 11 lakh crores, an 11.9% increase in indirect tax collections. 

Talking about the capacity to rationalise present GST slabs, Shri Jaitley said that the GST Council is constantly working in that direction and the desired rationalisation will come with the setting in of the stability of GST system, increasing tax collections through curbing tax evasion and increasing the tax net. The Minister said that according to his projection, an increase of 1.5% in indirect tax collections is expected in the Non oil category, which will facilitate the automatic rationalisation of tax slabs in near future.

In his conclusion, Shri Jaitley thanked the Finance Ministers and officers of different States without whose cooperation GST could not have been a success that it is today. Though GST has given a lot of reasons to cheer about with its first year achievements, the best of GST in terms of its contribution to the society is yet to come, the Minister added.

 Union Minister Piyush Goyal congratulating all the stakeholders and calling GST a symbol of cooperative and collaborative federalism, said gGST day is a day of 1.25 billion Indiansh adding that gNo other Nation in the world, so huge, with so many regional socio-economic and political interests has been able to implement such a tax reform ever in historyh. He termed it also as a Game changer for small businesses. 

Speaking on the occasion, according to the official statement, Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla said that implementation of GST from midnight of 1st July, 2017 is probably only the second historic moment after India's independence, when the Members of Parliament sat together at midnight and brought in a historic transformation in the country. Despite the initial hardships that are associated with all such landmark decisions, the common man has now understood the Good and Simple Tax and faithfully contributing in implementation of GST, the Minister added.

Finance Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia said the GST has stabilized within a short period of 1 year. Strong political will and crystal clear directives, constructive discussions, cooperative and collaborative decision making in the GST Council is a huge achievement, we must acknowledge that.

Chairman CBIC, Shri S. Ramesh calling GST as a landmark economic reform in history of India, said that the focus of the Government is on addressing the grievances of the citizens, including through the IT based grievance redressal mechanism.

The occasion also saw speeches from Industry stalwarts, the official statement says,  including Shri Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President CII, Shri Rashesh Shah, President, FICCI, Shri Sandeep Jajodiya, President, ASSOCHAM, Shri Anil Khaitan, PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dinesh Chandra Tripathy, President, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME). All of them congratulated the Government on successful roll out of biggest tax reform in history of the country. They said that GST has really changed the way business is carried out in India and the benefits of GST far outweigh the costs of this reform. In crux, it was said that Industry grievances are being addressed in real time, hurdles and roadblocks have been removed at a fast pace. GST has cut out tax cascading and increased the tax net. Industry stalwarts, in one voice, suggested a rationalisation of tax rates and requested the Government to bring petroleum products, alcohol and real estate under the ambit of GST.

On the occasion, commendation certificates were presented by Shri Goyal and Shri Shukla to 35 officers for their exceptional services rendered with respect to the roll out of GST.

Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Secretaries of Ministry of Finance, Shri Mahendra Singh, Member, GST Council, Chief Economic Adviser, Chairman CBDT, Chairman GSTN, ex-chairpersons of CBIC and other senior officers of the Ministry and CBIC, along with Industry members.

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