‘GST awareness workshop’ talks about ease of doing business

A transparent, credible, easier single taxation system

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 6: “When the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is made applicable, it will bring the whole of India under one common market, and make inter-state transactions easier; we are in a momentous time,” Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Shri Paul Antony said here today. 

He made this observation during his inaugural address at a GST awareness workshop, organised by the Department of Industries & Commerce in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in the capital.

“FICCI and all stakeholders should get involved in the processes and bring out the potential of the GST and be aptly prepared for it,” he said, comparing it to the moment when the VAT was first introduced in April 2005. “But then the states took over and we continued to be divided as in the days of the Service Tax. If the GST is successfully implemented, all interpretational issues in inter-state transactions will be over.”

The GST, which has already been approved by the President of India, is scheduled to be implemented across the country from April 1, 2017. It replaces all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Centre and states, making for a single, easier taxation system. There are 60,000 Central Excise and Customs and state government officers who will be trained for the switch to GST, a tax system practised in 160 countries.

Described as a system that will create transparency and credibility, the GST is expected to cut out a lot of bureaucracy, with the plethora of Central and state taxes making way for a single tax, noted Industries & Commerce Director Shri P M Francis. “Businessmen will feel greatly relieved, as they will have to interact at only a single point,” he said.

The GST will hopefully prompt Kerala to move from a consumer state to a manufacturer state, said Shri Pullela Nageswara Rao, Chief Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax, Kerala.

The GST is a destination-based tax on consumption and 80 per cent of the state’s taxes are on consumption, noted Shri Rao, who was speaking at the workshop. “Do not sit with a single product,” he advised the industrialists at the event. “Diversification can protect your business in case one service has to be phased out.”

The GST single taxation system will increase ease of doing business, pointed out Shri Deepak L Aswani of the FICCI Kerala State Council. “This will be a significant step with the benefits passed on to the consumer,” he said.

Shri V Rajagopal, CEO of K-BIP, Shri Sachin Menon, FICCI Co-Chair GST & Partner and Head of Indirect Tax at KPMG, Smt Bhavna Doshi, Senior Indirect Tax Adviser at KPMG, Shri Savit Gopal, Indirect Tax specialist, Shri Ashwin Kelkar, Partner at KPMG, Shri S V Sukumar, Partner and Head of Strategy & Operations at KPMG and Shri Savio Mathew, Head of FICCI Kerala State Council, also spoke at the workshop.


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