Gajendra Maheshwari

Good Morning GST…

Sierra Leone, a small country in Africa, having a population of 7 million, introduced GST in the year 2010. For tax-payer awareness, a song with excellent lyrics and beats was created, called “the GST song”. The GST song lead to an entertaining transition to GST with an active participation of the public.

Back in the country, GST roll out is planned at the Central Hall of the Parliament on 30th June. This is the place where at the stroke of midnight of 14th/15th August 1947, the resolution for independence of India was passed by the Constitution Assembly. Immediately after passage of the resolution, a song, that connects the souls of we all Indians, was played for the first time in the Parliament – Jana Gana Mana…

For the roll out of this epic reform on 1st July, Government machinery has been functioning on 24X7 basis. Technical stuff is being released on GST in every few minutes. As this big change is going to impact each and every economic activity in the country, television, radios, newspapers, magazines are full of GST. Even the social media is dipped in the GST color.

The only, yet crucial, part missing in the GST bandwagon is an anthem connecting aam-public with GST. With my participation in the World Bank tax reform programs, I learnt that a big reform needs bigger communication strategy for biggest public participation. No doubt GST will subsume entertainment tax, at the same time should be entertaining.

I would have been happy to listen a GST created by Bollywood in general or Rehman in particular.  Apparently, they were unhappy with the GST rates on cinema. Big B certainly did a great job of appearing in the GST message, still, an anthem has its own relevance.

Be what as it may, we know that music is pure – it has no boundary, no race, no caste, no color.  Let’s enjoy this most unique GST song in the world. With its catchy beats and beautiful message, it is equally relevant in our GST scenario:

“GST, GST means goods and services tax…”

“Pay your taxes…pay your taxes…pay your tax if you want your country to grow”

“Any time you make a sale, make sure you give a receipt, any time you buy make sure you get a receipt”

 “It is all about development…”

Apart from the entertainment element, if you have received a message from your consultant or through social media that GST is confusing, then let me tell you that for a small business GST it is as simple as listening this song.  Follow this link to enjoy the GST song and learn more about GST:

Vande Mataram!

(Author is Managing Partner with Reina Legal)

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December 2020