Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will exceed ₹1.1 lakh crore monthly, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday, adding that he expects about ₹13 lakh crore of revenue from the new tax regime over this financial year.
“I assure you that average monthly GST collection will cross ₹1.10 lakh crore,” Mr. Goyal said, speaking at the government’s ‘GST Day’ celebrations to mark one year of the indirect tax regime. “I feel more than ₹13 lakh crore revenue will come from GST this fiscal.”
The Finance Minister also went on to say that there was scope for further rationalisation of the tax rates if tax compliance improved and the e-waybill system settled down.
‘Slabs address inequity’
“The more people get into the honest and transparent system and with the success of e-waybill system, we will be in a better position to rationalise tax slabs,” Mr. Goyal said. “The different rate slabs were kept after considering the social structure of the nation. Is it proper to tax luxury cars and items of common items used by poor people?”
This argument was made several times by Union Minister Arun Jaitley while he held the Finance portfolio, and by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Jaitley also addressed the event through video-conferencing, and wrote a blog post on the first year of GST, crticising the Congress for seeking the inclusion of petroleum products within the GST framework.
“Both Rahul Gandhi and P. Chidambaram have repeatedly demanded that petroleum products be brought within the GST,” Mr Jaitley wrote. “When I speak to the Congress Finance Ministers in the States, they don’t seem to be ready for it. But what was the UPA’s own track record on petroleum products...? The Constitution amendment proposed by the UPA permanently kept all petroleum products outside the GST.”
“I worked out a formula that petroleum products would be included in the amendment providing for the GST, but the Council can decide the date from which to bring them into GST,” Mr. Jaitley added. “For this I would continue to make my earnest efforts and hopefully when the States are more comfortable with the revenue position, it would be an ideal time to strike for a consensus between them.”
The Union Minister also went on to say that argue why a single tax rate under GST would be possible only in economies where the “entire population has a similar and a higher level of paying capacity”, which is not the case in India.
Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, in his address, said the implementation of GST in India was a success because there was no impact on inflation, GDP growth, and “hardly any” impact on revenue collections.