State commercial taxes secretary Nidhi Khare today sought to allay the fears of traders regarding Goods and Services Tax (GST) and said the proposed Bill was aimed at creating a simplified tax regime.
Khare further said the situation was still fluid and it would not be proper to discuss the implication of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill on traders. “The GST will herald a uniform tax regime, replacing all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the central and state governments. The move will help boost the country’s GDP,” she said.
Khare was addressing traders at a seminar on VAT and GST organised by the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) at Chamber Bhavan in Ranchi.
At the beginning, FJCCI presidet Ratan Modi expressed apprehension of traders about the proposed GST, which would be levied at three different levels – central, state and inter-state – requiring businessmen to file returns and pay taxes separately at every stage.
However, Khare pointed out that the GST Bill, which was passed as the 122nd Amendment Bill by the Lok Sabha, was yet to be ratified by the Upper House.
“Once cleared by the Rajya Sabha, the state will have to adopt a suitable legal format to facilitate implementation of the new regime from April 2016,” she told 100-odd representatives of FJCCI and its district units. The secretary also said there would be a provision for fair distribution of tax revenues among states and central governments.
Khare said that the businesses in Jharkhand had grown remarkably since its inception in 2000. “In the first financial year, the total tax collection stood at Rs 1,042 crore whereas this year’s target is Rs 11,500 crore. The presence of famous brands in the state is an indication of the increased trading activities and expanded consumer base. GST will help the state grow further and become a part of the national market,” she observed.