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Panelists say that in the next round of GST reforms, petrol and diesel prices should come down

After two years of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), what is the result, what kind of success has it achieved? As more changes in the GST regime are on the anvil, APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Neha Dubey posed the questions to panellists including the BJP’s Shabnam Pandey, noted scribe Sunil Kaushikbusiness representative Pradeep Gupta,economist Akash Jindal, and Chartered Accountants Vaibhav Paharia and Rajnish Gupta.

Jindal said: “Implementation of GST was a landmark step, and it has helped. India has gone up to the 77th position in ease of doing business. We are the fastest growing large economies of the world. GST was launched in haste. The main problem has been lack of communication. Online systems are there, but networks and servers remain an issue. I will give 85 out of 100 marks to the government on this scheme. It is a bold step.”

Vaibhav Paharia said: “The 28 percent slab should be there.”

Gupta said: “See there are loopholes in any system, and the government must watch out for that. GST needs to be simplified. Laws should be simplified to encourage business.”

Kaushik said: “If people want to learn, they can easily do that. In two years, it is not that daily use items have been made cheaper. Another Council should be put in place to police the offenders who know how to get out of the system.”

Pandey said: “BJP has been able to arrest spiralling prices. GST has gone a long way to help in that. A lot of businessmen who were not paying tax earlier have now been brought into the tax net. The manual harassment of innocents and small-time business people is now over, government revenue has gone up. GST has been a big reform step.”

Rajnish Gupta said: “Due to technological glitches, many systems earlier could not be implemented well. Further simplification is expected now.”

Jindal said: “Simplification and convenience is needed for business. The complex regulations need to be simplified. Apprehensions and insecurities of business people have to be addressed, so that they can put in more effort in their business. I will again emphasise network and connectivity. Illegal transactions have now come down. We are already the sixth largest economy, so world class regulations was called for, and all due credit goes to the Modi government.”

Rajnish Gupta said: “Implementation of the tax regime was poor earlier, the procedures were cumbersome. Still a lot more improvement is needed.”

Pandey said: “There has been a huge improvement in the Income Tax figures, a lot more people are now filing returns.”

Paharia said:”Whether electricity should come under GST, that’s a government decision. Businessmen and tax consultants have understood GST, business people are now not confused. Earlier, there used to be inter-state smuggling, now that is not the case. There could not have been a readymade plan, government has been doing a lot of amendments, and now a lot has been streamlined, and further simplification of norms is expected.”

Jindal said: “People want to know when petrol and diesel prices will come down. The government needs to give a deadline for that. This will directly impact each and every farmer in the village.”

Pandey said: “Government is already mulling over GST in petrol and diesel prices.”

Pradeep Gupta said:”Nothing has been made cheaper for the common man, and that is because petrol and diesel prices have not been checked.”

Pandey said: “Whoever wants to give suggestions should do so to the GST Council.”

Jindal said: “There has to be relief for the common man.”

Pradeep Gupta said: “Common man will benefit if the scheme is simplified for all.”

Pahariya said: “All business people take help of technical experts. Streamlining of the tax regime has certainly helped.”

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