GST Completes Four Years in India; “Tax Base Almost Doubled”, Says FM
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The fourth anniversary of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India was celebrated through a national-level programme, marked by the CBIC and all its field offices across India. The national-level programme was organised by the CBIC through virtual mode and attended by all field formations. GST was introduced in India on 1st July 2017 and subsumed 17 indirect taxes such as Central Excise, Value Added Tax (VAT), and service tax. 

In a message released on GST Day 2021, the Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the taxpayer base under GST has almost doubled from 66.25 lakh to 1.28 crore over the last four years. She said that she would like to thank and congratulate the people of India, especially the taxpayers, whose unstinted support and faith in the government has made GST a reality. 

“Its positive externalities such as a unified market, removal of cascading and improved competitiveness of goods and services has helped spur economic growth taking us further on the path of prosperity,” the minister said. She further added, “It is a matter of great satisfaction that we have overcome most challenges, including two waves of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, in providing stability to this new tax regime.” The Finance Minister was happy with the buoyant tax collections, which have now crossed the Rs.1 lakh crore mark for eight months in a row. April 2021 saw record GST collections of Rs.1.41 lakh crore. 

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman also added that commendable work had been done in areas of facilitation and enforcement, with several cases of fraudulent dealers and input tax credit (ITC) being registered. “The enhanced revenue collection in recent months should now be the new normal,” the FM said.

The FM also appreciated the CBIC’s efforts in recognising more than 54,000 taxpayers for their contribution to nation-building. Taxpayers facilitation involved two COVID-19 relief packages, which covered late fee waivers, interest rate reductions, relaxation of return deadline and other timelines, etc. Further, the GST rates on vaccines and other essential medicines used to prevent and treat COVID-19 have also been reduced.

The Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur also expressed gratitude to trade and industry and, in specific, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). In his message, he said that their continuous support and feedback helped the government improve GST laws, systems, and procedures over the past four years. He also congratulated all the officers selected for the commendation certificate for their dedication and hard work in serving the nation.

The fourth anniversary of the introduction of GST was celebrated through a national-level programme, marked by the CBIC and all its field offices across India. The national-level programme was organised by the CBIC through virtual mode and attended by all field formations. 

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at athena.rebello@cleartax.in

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