Two years of GST: Road ahead for one nation, one tax

The landmark goods and services tax (GST), launched on July 1, 2017, has completed two years. The one-nation, one-tax revolution has seen a few hiccups, but it’s settling down and benefits should start to flow sooner rather than later. ET looks at what lies ahead

1.Revenues rising despite rate cuts

2.Successful template for centre-state cooperation


* GST Council arrangement has worked well

*Most decisions have been unanimous

*Centre has taken the states along in ironing out issues

*Council has proactively addressed issues as they arose

3.Gains beginning to show up

*Logistics costs down as cargo moving faster across state borders

*Indirect tax compliance costs have fallen

*Paying taxes has become easier with a single tax

*Companies starting to plan without worrying about state boundaries

4.Bring remaining sectors under GST



*Petroleum products

5.Reduce the number of rate slabs


6.Simplify procedures

*Filing system remains cumbersome

*Online filing of receipts and aggregation by system should help

*Solve issues over administration of GST

7.Measures to lift revenues

*Steps needed to curb evasion

*Invoice-to-invoice matching and reversing charge

*Reach out to non filers


A) Frequent changes

* GST Council has met 35 times since inception

* Many changes in two years

* Multiple revisions in rules

B) Cumbersome compliance

* Return filing remains challenging

* Vendor reconciliation is another headache

* Multiple registration for service providers

* Jurisdiction divided between states and Centre

C) Export refunds and input tax credit

* Exporters still struggling with refunds

* Input tax credit remains a niggle in many cases

D) To profit or not

* No clear guidelines on anti-profiteering

*Complaints not restricted to affected consumers


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