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GST: A Game Changer for Indian Economy

GST will have a multiplier effect on the economy with benefits accruing to various sectors as discussed below.

Benefits to the exporters:

The subsuming of major Central and State taxes in GST, complete and comprehensive setoff of input goods and services and phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST) would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services. This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give boost to Indian exports.

Benefits to agriculture and Industry:

GST will give more relief to industry, trade and agriculture through a more comprehensive and wider coverage of input tax set-off and service tax set-off, subsuming of several Central and State taxes in the GST and phasing out of CST. The transparent and complete chain of set-offs which will result in widening of tax base and better tax compliance may also lead to lowering of tax burden on an average dealer in industry, trade and agriculture.

Benefits for common consumers:

With the introduction of GST, the cascading effects of CENVAT, State VAT and service tax will be more comprehensively removed with a continuous chain of set-off from the producer’s point to the retailer’s point than what was possible under the prevailing CENVAT and VAT regime. Certain major Central and State taxes will also be subsumed in GST and CST will be phased out. Other things remaining the same, the burden of tax on goods would, in general, fall under GST and that would benefit the consumers.

Promote “Make in India”:

GST will help to create a unified common national market for India, giving a boost to foreign investment and “Make in India” campaign. It will prevent cascading of taxes and make products cheaper, thus boosting aggregate demand. It will boost export and manufacturing activity, generate more employment and thus increase GDP with gainful employment leading to substantive economic growth. Ultimately it will help in poverty eradication by generating more employment and more financial resources. More efficient neutralization of taxes especially for exports thereby making our products more competitive in the international market and give boost to Indian Exports. It will also improve the overall investment climate in the country which will naturally benefit the development in the states. Uniform CGST & SGST and IGST rates will reduce the incentive for evasion by eliminating rate arbitrage between neighboring States and that between intra and inter-State supplies. Average tax burden on companies is likely to come down which is expected to reduce prices and lower prices mean more consumption, which in turn means more production thereby helping in the growth of the industries. This will create India as a “Manufacturing hub”.

Ease of Doing Business:

Simpler tax regime with fewer exemptions along with reduction in multiplicity of taxes that are at present governing our indirect tax system will lead to simplification and uniformity. Reduction in compliance costs as multiple record-keeping for a variety of taxes will not be needed; therefore, lesser investment of resources and manpower in maintaining records. It will result in simplified and automated procedures for various processes such as registration, returns, refunds, tax payments. All interaction shall be through the common GSTN portal, therefore, less public interface between the taxpayer and the tax administration. It will improve environment of compliance as all returns to be filed online, input credits to be verified online, encouraging more paper trail of transactions. Common procedures for registration of taxpayers, refund of taxes, uniform formats of tax return, common tax base, common system of classification of goods and services will lend greater certainty to taxation system.

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