Govt moots for improving measures for better GST collections

Govt moots for improving measures for better GST collections

New Delhi, In order to push growth, the government is mooting the idea of improving measures for better 'GST collections' to make revenue collection free from hurdles. According to official sources, in the new measure, there will be "emphasis" on improvement in compliance and collection efficiency by making tax process simple and predictable. The Centre is working towards provisions to clear bottlenecks in the economy with a view for 'ease of doing business'. In this direction, it is ensuring easy availability of funds for productive sectors for accelerated growth, sources said here. The government believes that taxes are already lower than earlier so the strategy being worked out does not include reduction of GST rates. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had interacted with different stakeholders, including industry chambers, bankers and foreign and domestic investors and start-ups, and the steps being taken are based on that, sources said. During the meetings, these friction points were highlighted,

which would soon be removed, to boost growth, sources said. The industry has maintained that availability of credit, lower borrowing cost and simplification of few the policies could step up growth. The government has set seven per cent growth target for the current fiscal and data points of the first quarter are in line with that direction. Goods and Services Tax collection reached nine per cent in the first quarter while direct taxes rose by 12.9 per cent, close to the growth in the same period last fiscal, and this took place despite the uncertainty of election time. Corporate tax collection also saw a growth rate of 13.3 per cent. As far as GST revenue collection is concerned, the average collection has been over Rs 1 lakh crore during the quarter despite slowdown in industrial activities. GST collection rose to Rs 1.13 lakh crore in April, the highest ever since its implementation on July 1, 2017. GST collections will increase as more than seven months are still to go till this financial year ends. For making tax process simple, the government's emphasis will be on compliance and bettering collection with simplifying the process. With the auto industry demanding GST rate reduction, the Centre maintains that the rate is already lower than the pre-GST time. The government has to meet its own revenue targets for social sector schemes announced by it and also for improving infrastructure, so there is not much elbow room to cut the tax rates, sources said.

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