To understand, analyze, interpret and adopt Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India with integrity and amity, we have to understand its evolution and relevance in the economy as the biggest reform in indirect taxes.
The idea of GST for India was first mooted sixteen years back, during the Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After GST Council approved the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill), the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill), the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill), the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill), these Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha on 29th March 2017. The Rajya Sabha passed these Bills on 6th April 2017 and these were then enacted on 12th April 2017. Thereafter, State Legislatures of different States have passed respective State Goods and Services Tax Bills. After the enactment of various GST laws, GST was launched with effect from 1st July 2017 by Sh. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India in the presence of Sh.Pranab Mukherjee, the then President of India in a mid-night function at the Central Hall of Parliament of India.
GST Council monitors the functioning of GST. To prove GST as the biggest taxation reform in the history of the Indian economy, the three rates of 5, 10, and 15 per cent along with the Direct Tax Code (DTC) deserve attention for implementing Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. The socio-economic inequalities are inbuilt in the GST-exempted goods and services and call for pruning the list for its proper implementation. We need to understand Chakravyuha Challenges of the Indian Economy ‘ making great strides in removing entry barriers for firms, talent, and technology but showing less vigour to remove the exit barriers’. We have to be alert, aware, and awake of the ‘Cobra Effect’ which occurs when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse.
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We need not impose any other tax if petroleum products and alcoholic drinks are brought under GST. GST can prove to be a panacea for reducing the gap between WPI and CPI-based inflation rate by making India a unified common market.
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To implement GST effectively, we need coordination between bureaucrats and the politicians in power to avoid unnecessary delays in implementing policy decisions. There is a need for policy implication-oriented research to make the nation capable of facing the COVID created challenges and revive the economy.
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For addressing the emerging challenges faced by people with built-in corruption, we need good governance at all levels of operation in the Indian economy. The shortfalls in employment, household incomes, corporate profitability and tax revenues caused by the COVID crisis require good governance as the need of the hour. We need to address the growing social unrest and discontent due to discrimination and deprivations in the largest democracy of the world.
To achieve efficiency, sufficiency, and equity, we certainly need good governance at all levels as envisaged by the writer in the book ‘Economics of Human Resource Development in India’ (2011). The other internationally recognized features of ‘Good Governance’ are participation, consensus-oriented, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and following the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of most vulnerable in the society are heard in decision making. We should be pragmatic for creating a sense of security with the crime-free business environment.
To emerge and realize the full potential of the Indians in a holistic sense, it is essential to understand the six human development activities such as Spiritual Quotient (SQ) development, Intuition development, Mental level development, Love oneself attitude development and Emotional quotient (EQ) development. The synergy of these aspects of human resource development is an essential requirement for India to realize the full potential in a holistic sense.
We, the people of India need to become ‘Trustees’ not owners of the wealth and properties for the speedy revival of the economy with various measures including GST.
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