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All Set For GST Launch, Hasmukh Adhia Tells NDTV: Highlights

New Delhi:  Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia tells NDTV that the government is all set for the midnight Goods and Services Tax or GST launch on Friday.

Following are the highlights of Mr Adhia’s interview:

  • I am not nervous because we have done enough for it. Whatever hard work we have put in, will definitely bear fruits
  • We made a checklist of whatever we needed to do by June 30. We’ve done most of it
  • As far as state governments are concerned, they are fully ready
  • They must be talking about preparedness on the part of traders
  • There is absolutely no new requirement that we have brought in. We require people to register online, which everyone can do. Return filing is online.
  • There is no real-time invoice matching; we are not asking that. We just want people to return online at the end of the month, that’s all.
  • In many states, even VAT (Value-Added Tax) and service tax returns is filed online.
  • The government will not punish those who make genuine mistakes. Anti-profiteering not to be used against small traders.
  • West Bengal and Kerala are concerned about traders being ready for GST.
  • Only one GST return per month, which has three parts, to be filed.
  • If we combined two rates, then for the rich it will come to a median level but it will rise for the poor. For example, if we have a median rate of 8 per cent, then the commodities which are under 5 per cent will move up to 8 per cent.
  • We have to balance rates in favour of the poor as well as look at the revenue position.
  • Now we have a complete list of what commodity falls where.
  • Nothing is happening in the first month. The return-filing will happen in August, so we have one more month to go. Other than import-export transactions, nothing will happen.
  • One of India’s best IT (information technology) companies is handling it. The load is not going to be a problem.
  • We are asking for business data, not personal data (on Aadhaar privacy). There is no problem on privacy and security.
  • If benefit of lowering tax rates is passed on to people, then inflation can come down. It will not immediately happen, but we have to wait and see.
  • The biggest benefit is that the country will become one in terms of trade. Ease of doing business is another benefit.
  • The gains of GST are so many. It should improve profitability. Companies will become efficient; there would be no Inspector Raj. Transparency will be another benefit. Investment would improve, which would help growth.
  • We will be watching the situation. We will help people. We have no intention of harassing anyone in case of genuine mistakes.