Goods and Services Tax (GST) has acted as an engine for driving domestic consumption and helped households save on monthly bills since its implementation six years ago, the government said on Friday..
Giving a comparison of the tax rates of various goods pre and post-GST rollout, the government said from streamlining processes to boosting investments, GST has been a catalyst for progress.
“The implementation of GST has made it easier for taxpayers to comply with tax law and this can be seen in the fact that the number of registered taxpayers has increased from 1.03 crore that enrolled into GST by April 1, 2018 to 1.36 crore by April 1, 2023,” the office of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.
A nationwide GST, which subsumed 17 local levies like excise duty, service tax and VAT and 13 cesses, was rolled out at the stroke of midnight on July 1, 2017.
Under GST a four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of 5 per cent tax on essential items and a top rate of 28 per cent on luxury and demerit goods is levied. The other slabs of tax are 12 per cent and 18 per cent.
Besides, there is a special 3 per cent rate for gold, jewellery and precious stones and 1.5 per cent on cut and polished diamonds. Besides, a cess is levied on the highest tax slab of 28 per cent on luxury, sin and demerit goods.
“GST, which was introduced six years ago by subsuming 17 taxes and 13 cesses levied by the central and state governments, has not only helped in reducing tax burden on the citizens but has also proven to be the engine for driving consumption in the country,” Nirmala Sitharaman’s office tweeted.
In the pre-GST era, the total of VAT, excise, CST and their cascading effect led to 31 per cent as tax payable on an average, for a consumer.
“With reduced taxes, #GST brings happiness to every home: Relief through #GST on various consumer goods of daily use,” the Finance Ministry tweeted.
GST has turned out to be a gamechanger in India’s indirect tax system and has provided a wide range of benefits to all stakeholders. The benefits include reduction in prices of various goods and services, level playing field for all taxpayers and revenue augmentation through improved compliance, the Government said.
The monthly GST revenues, which used to be ₹85,000-95,000 crore when GST was launched in 2017, have soared to around Rs 1.5 lakh crore and is moving northwards. It had touched an all-time high of Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April 2023.