The goods and services tax (GST) has acted as an engine to boost domestic consumption and helped households save on monthly bills since it was introduced six years ago, the government said on Friday.
Comparing the tax rates of various goods before and after the rollout of the GST, the government said that from streamlining processes to stimulating investment, the GST has been a catalyst for progress.
“The implementation of the GST has made it easier for taxpayers to comply with tax laws and this is seen in the fact that the number of registered taxpayers has increased from 1.03 crore registered for GST on April 1, 2018 to 1.36 crore as of April 1, 2023,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s office tweeted.
A nationwide GST, which included 17 local levies such as excise duty, service tax and VAT and 13 taxes, was rolled out at midnight on July 1, 2017.
Under the GST, a four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of 5% on essential items and a maximum rate of 28% on luxuries and demerits is levied. The other tax brackets are 12% and 18%.
In addition, there is a special rate of 3% for gold, jewelry and precious stones and 1.5% for cut and polished diamonds. In addition, a tax is levied on the highest tax bracket of 28% on luxury, sin and demerit goods.
“The GST, which was introduced six years ago by subsuming 17 taxes and 13 taxes levied by the central government and state governments, has not only helped to reduce the tax burden of citizens, but has also proven to be driving consumption in the country,” Nirmala Sitharaman’s office tweeted.
In the pre-GST era, the total of VAT, excise, CST and their cascading effect amounted to 31% as the tax payable on average, for a consumer.
“With reduced taxes, #GST makes every household happy: #GST relief on various everyday consumer goods,” the Ministry of Finance tweeted.
GST has proven to be a decisive element in India’s indirect tax system and has provided a wide range of benefits to all stakeholders. The benefits include lower prices for various goods and services, a level playing field for all taxpayers and increased revenue through better compliance, the government said.
Monthly GST revenues, which were previously ₹85,000-95,000 crore when GST was launched in 2017, have soared to around Rs 1.5 lakh crore and are moving north. It had hit an all-time high of Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April 2023.