PM in Lok Sabha: GST will make ‘kuchcha’ bills a thing of the past


NEW DELHI: Implementation of a goods and services tax will end “tax terrorism”+, incentivise traders to maintain clean accounts, make “kuchcha bills” (informal bills) a thing of the past and empower the customer, PM Narendra Modi said on Monday.

A “pucca bill” (proper receipt) will help traders claim tax credit and an online system will track transactions at every stage, making it possible to detect evasions, the PM said. He emphasised that the reform+ would mean “customer is king” as the common man will benefit from a more accountable tax regime and an efficient economy.

Modi’s kuchcha-pucca remark in Lok Sabha was a reference to the all too common practice of retailers and service providers offering customers a choice of a printed bill or just an informal total that does not contain a tax component. The GST, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, will put paid an end to this illegality as traders will benefit from preparing a clean bill of goods.

In his intervention in Lok Sabha, which cleared amendments to the Constitution passed by Rajya Sabha+ last week, Modi credited Parliament, political parties and states for putting “rashtraniti” (national policy) above “raj niti” (politics). “The important thing is that this should not be decided on majority, we never wanted it…. We know that unprecedented consensus has been created. It helps in streng thening democracy,” he said.

Apart from a few small digs at Congress when he pointed out that the party may have given birth to the bill but it was NDA that nurtured it, Modi stuck to eulogising the strong consensus in favour of the bill even as he defended himself against the charge that as Gujarat CM he had opposed the law. He had apprehensions and had met then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee several times.

“As PM, having experience of CM, I could easily address the concerns of GST,” he said. Besides, he said there was a need to develop confidence among states as many of them had apprehensions about the Centre compensating them for possible loss of revenue.

Countering doubts raised by Congress that GST will spur inflation, Modi said the government has made a legal commitment to maintaining inflation at 4%. The government is looking to introduce GST -the most comprehensive indirect tax reforms since independ ence which will result in close to a dozen taxes getting merged into a single tax and turn India into a common market from April next year.
Modi sought to hardsell the reform as a win-win for all stakeholders. He said states considered backward stood to gain and this would address the problem of imbalanced development. He added that manufacturing states will be compensated for possible losses.With more funds at their disposal, states will be able to invest in education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Further, transparency and simple rules will result in easier compliance and lower collection cost, the PM said.


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