CNBC-TV18 in association with PwC India successfully highlighted impact of GST

Marking 1 year of completion of India’s boldest tax reform - GST Act, CNBC-TV18, the country’s foremost business news brand, in association with PwC India successfully hosted a first-of-its-kind-initiative ‘GST Decoded – 1 Year On’. A special report from PwC India titled ‘365 days of GST: A Historic Journey’ was also launched at this unique forum. The keynote address by Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Union Finance Secretary emphasized on the GST achievements as well as the foreseen challenges.

The prestigious conclave witnessed participation from key policymakers from the government such as Thomas Isaac, Minister of Finance - Govt. of Kerala, Manpreet Singh Badal, Minister of Finance - Govt. of Punjab and Mauvin Godinho, Panchayat Minister - Govt. of Goa and corporate luminaries Kabir Ahmed Shakir, CFO - Microsoft, Niranjan Gupta, CFO - Hero MotoCorp , Ashok Tyagi, Whole-time Director & Board Member - DLF, Nitin Saluja, Founder – Chaayos and Shyamal Mukherjee, Chairman – PwC who discussed and debated about the opportunities which can be tapped along with challenges that lay ahead.

With an objective to capture the implications of the GST, panelists addressed how sectors like software enterprises, automotive, real-estate, and hospitality amongst many others had been affected by the reform over the last one year. 

Below are the key talk points from the panel discussions at the forum:

Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Union Finance Secretary:

  • We have released Rs 50,000 cr out of the Rs 2 lakh cr IGST collections to states as a provisional settlement. We are holding Rs 1.16 lakh cr for settlements with taxpayers
  • We have to watch revenues before rationalizing the items under the 28% tax slab, removing items immediately is not feasible
  • States like Punjab may require compensation for more than 5 years, but many states may not require compensation from Centre after 2-3 years
  • Natural gas and aviation turbine fuel may come under GST
  • Claiming wrong input tax credit is an area that can be plugged. There is a great scope to improve revenue collection
  • Sugar cess has merits & demerits. Cess is not a bad idea if does not create compliance issues
  • There is scope to bring certain items from 28% bracket to 18%
  • First priority is to implement new #GST return forms. Second priority is compliance not with ‘danda’ but with ‘data analytics’… Data is the new ‘danda’

Thomas Issac, Minister of Finance - Govt. of Kerala:

  • The experience OF GST implementation in the first year has been rather disappointing for me
  • Anti-profiteering clause is ‘ineffective’
  • Small companies & unorganized businesses are in trouble
  • We can discuss bringing petroleum products under GST but states must be compensated
  • Centre should rollback fuel excise hikes, petrol, diesel price problem is solved

Manpreet Singh Badal, Minister of Finance - Govt. of Punjab:

  • 40% of Punjab’s tax base has been subsumed. At the moment Punjab is a compensation state; worried about how we are going to run the state after 2022
  • I would give 8/10 for implementing GST but only 2/10 for the way it was implemented
  • Mauvin Godinho, Panchayat Minister - Govt. of Goa:
  • It’s a splendid legislation that’s working very well
  • Every political party should be complimented, all Indians united for one reform
  • Sugar cess decision will be taken only if everybody is on board. GST Council is not run by majority

Mahender Singh, Member (GST), CBIC:

  • Compliance from taxpayers is a concern. It is a great challenge to convince people to pay tax
  • If people don’t pay taxes they are causing harm to themselves. We will run out of patience with poor tax compliance
  • It has been a rollercoaster ride & a great success

Kabir Ahmed Shakir, CFO – Microsoft:

  • Global peers show disbelief that we have implemented GST in such a diverse country

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