Advocate Akhilesh Kumar Sah
There was continuous emphasis on bringing Goods & Services Tax (GST) that is already running in more than 140 countries. This is an indirect tax and seeks to end the multiple effects of taxes and incorporates indirect taxes like entertainment tax, CST, excise, service tax, VAT, luxury tax, octroi etc. There have been difficulties with tax-payers, assessees in following the difficult rules & regulations, different rates of taxes, facing the penalties, as well as the complexities & problems in obeying the statutes of indirect taxes. Therefore, Government may consider the some of the following points while enacting GST:
1-Cascading effects of taxation have to be finished and it is well expected that the same will come to an end.
2-Simplicity is needed in invoicing systems due to which even the small default in the invoicing penalizes an assessee.
3-Exporters, importers, industry, trade agriculture will have to be given advantages due to streamlining of taxes.
4-Interstate business has to be given focus with lowest complications.
5-Inflation as well as falling value of rupee can also be checked.
6-The ultimate consumers will be given benefit due to combining of taxes and tax – incidence on them should be lower as they are the ultimate tax contributors.
7-There should be automatic check-up on corruption through in-built measures.
8-There has to be emphasis on cost-reductions at every stage.
9-Rules have to be made for industrial production boost.
10-Incentives to industrial areas as well as traders friendly policing have to be worked out.
The GST Constitution Amendment Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha & debate is on for passing in Rajya Sabha, now, it appears that GST will come into force w.e.f. 1.04.2016.
By bringing uniform tax rates/rules & emphasis on better tax-compliance, now, it is high time for group discussions of different trade sections and reps of Chambers of Commerce.
The Supreme Court observed in Shreya Singhal vs. Union Of India [Writ Petition (Criminal) No.167 Of 2012] the para 130-131 in Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, (1994) 3 SCC 569, wherein at para 130, it was held:
130. It is the basic principle of legal jurisprudence that an enactment is void for vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined. Vague laws offend several important values. It is insisted or emphasised that laws should give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Such a law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen and also judges for resolution on an ad hoc and subjective basis, with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application. More so uncertain and undefined words deployed inevitably lead citizens to “steer far wider of the unlawful zone … than if the boundaries of the forbidden areas were clearly marked”.
A Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in the case of V. V. S. Sugars v. Government of Andhra Pradesh (1999) 114 STC 47 : (1999) 4 SCC 192 reiterated the following proposition laid down in the India Carbon Ltd.’s case (1997) 106 STC 460 in the following words :
[Head note of (1999) 4 SCC]:
“The Act in question is a taxing statute and, therefore, must be interpreted as it reads, with no additions and no subtractions, on the ground of legislative intendment or otherwise.”
“……Law is a living organism and its utility depends on its vitality and ability to serve as sustaining pillar of society. contours of law in evolving society must constantly keep changing as civilization and culture advances. The customs and mores must undergo change with march of time, Justice to the individual is one of the highest interests of the democratic State judiciary cannot protect the interests of the common man unless it would redefine the protections of the Constitution and the common law if law is to adapt itself to the needs of the changing society, it must be flexible and adaptable.
Law is the manifestation of principles of justice, equity and good conscience. Rule of law should establish a uniform pattern for harmonious existence in a society where every individual would exercise his rights to his best advantage to achieve excellence, subject to protective discrimination. The best advantage of one person could be the worst disadvantage to another. Law steps in to iron out such creases and ensures equality of protection to individuals as well as group liberties. Man’s status is a creature of substantive as well as procedural law to which legal incidents would attach. Justice, equality and fraternity are trinity for social and economic equality. therefore, law is the foundation on which the potential of the society stands…….” [Madhu Kishwar vs. State of Bihar (1996) 5 SCC 125].