Two years since India embarked upon its most transformational indirect tax journey, the introduction of GST was a game-changer for the Indian economy as it has replaced multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime.
With Union Budget 2019 focusing primarily on the macro sentiment, it is now up to the GST Council to make 'One Nation One Tax' a holistic policy tool for driving India towards the $5 trillion dreams.
To discuss the road ahead for GST, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister of Delhi; Manpreet Badal, finance minister of Punjab; V Narayanasamy, chief minister of Puducherry and Mauvin Godinho, panchayat minister of Goa.
Badal said, "Almost two-thirds of your entire economy is outside GST. If you recognise this rule of One Nation One Tax, you cannot have such a large segment of your economy outside of GST. However, look at the kind of exemptions you have in our GST system, look at the kind of amendments you have made in the GST law. In two years, 4,000 amendments in the law."
Narayanasamy said, "After the implementation of the GST, Puducherry is suffering a lot. The reason is we are a small state, ours is not a consuming state. GST is a destination tax. So, whatever is produced here - land is ours, water is ours, electricity is ours but ultimately it goes to the consuming state and we are not getting any advantage and that is a basic flaw in the GST law."
Godinho said, "After 35 meetings in the GST council each and everything has been decided by consensus, never there has been any voting that has taken place. For decisions to be idealistic, to arrive at something which will be really ideal and which will be acceptable to everyone, it will take a little time. However, I want to assure the nation through this forum that the government as well as the GST Council, are further rationalising the rates and try to even converge the 18 percent and 28 percent or 18 percent and 12 percent into one rate and even going further beyond that."