NEW DELHI: Finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Tuesday that goods and services tax (GST) will “change the game” for those who avoid to paying taxes. “When GST was introduced it was hailed as a gamechanging tax reform. Do you know what is game changing? It is an innovation which can spoil the games people were playing to avoid paying taxes,” Adhia told a gathering of exporters, while delivering his speech in Hindi. The rollout of GST has been seen as a measure to plug loopholes and ensure that businesses across the country start paying taxes. Using high-end return filing and matching system, the new tax regime makes it tough for tax evaders. Introduction of GST is also seen as the government’s overall strategy to nab evaders.
Adhia, who has played a key role in the implementation of the new tax reform measure, explained in detail to exporters how it will benefit them. “Leave aside the transition problems. I want to assure you that in the long term it (GST) will benefit exports.”
The finance secretary explained the reason behind delay of refund for exporters and how the government had responded swiftly to address the problem. He said wrong filing of returns along with technological problems had delayed the process.
Adhia also elaborated the benefit of GST for exporters. “Earlier some states would give VAT refunds after two-to-three years, some would never give. Plus there was no credit for 5% octroi if you were in Mumbai. Under the GST system being put in place to file one application, get one refund order and get one refund. This will ease life and will boost exports.”
He said once the system stabilises, exporters will get refund for Integrated GST (IGST) as soon as they file for it. Adhia said the government has devised a manual cum automatic way of filing refund. “This is an online system. Printout has to be submitted to jurisdictional officer.”
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said introduction of the new tax regime “would be the catalyst for spurring growth in the export sector. Lower duty on most of the items and reduction of cascading effect of various duties would lower the cost and make exports competitive”.