PM hints more relief for traders & businesses to ease GST compliance burden

   04 Nov 2017
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The implementation of goods and services tax (GST) will give further improve India's ranking in the World Bank's ease of doing business index next year when the impact of the biggest tax reform will be taken into account, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday. India's ranking took a quantum leap to 100 from 130 last year in the latest Doing Business report.

Assuring traders that all their problems with respect to GST are being addressed, Modi added further improvements will be considered in the indirect tax regime for the benefit of the economy.

"With GST we are moving towards a modern tax regime that is transparent, stable and predictable. This report has not taken into account the implementation of GST...Our efforts have gained momentum and it will be easier to improve our ranking further," said Modi in a joint address with the World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva and Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu on ease of doing business.

The prime minister added that a group of ministers has positively accepted issues raised by traders and businesses and the GST Council at its next meeting on November 9-10 will make necessary changes.

The GST Council had constituted a group of ministers led by Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ease compliance burden for assessees and make the composition scheme more attractive. The other members of the panel are Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Jammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, and Chhattisgarh Minister of Commercial Taxes Amar Agrawal.

The ministerial committee has suggested an overhaul of the composition scheme in the form of reducing rates, hiking the eligibility threshold to Rs 1.5 crore, from Rs 1 crore, and allowing interstate supply.

“We will implement the necessary changes in the GST Council meeting on November 10,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the government has abolished 1,200 archaic laws that complicated ease of doing business in India. “Thousands of reforms have been carried out by the states as well,” he said.

He added that the government has undertaken many more reforms that have a gestation period and will be stabilized with time.  

Modi said that the government will keep working to make India an easier place to do business. Listing out the reforms initiated by his government, he said that tax filing, registration of new business and getting electricity connection have been made easier. “We are among the most open economies of the world,” Modi said.


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