Govt prepares to celebrate July 1 as GST Day

Govt prepares to celebrate July 1 as GST Day

The construction sector is one on which the officials are pinning their hopes.

The Centre is gearing up for the Goods and Services Day celebrations on July 1 when the implementation of GST completes a year. The celebrations may not be on a massive scale like last year when a special session of Parliament was called during the mid-night to launch the country's biggest overhaul of indirect taxes since 1947. But events, mainly in form of awareness campaigns, will be organised across the country.

Sources said that preparations are afoot for pruning the highest 28% bracket of tax slab under the GST and many more items could be taken out of it as the nation completes one year of GST with several hits and misses.

The construction sector is one on which the officials are pinning their hopes and those close to the tax tweaking under GST said cement and paint. Cement manufacturers have been pushing for the rate cut for a long time. The government, which had maintained that once the tax revenues under the new indirect taxes stabilise, more and more goods will be moved to a lower tax bracket.

Sensing a huge need for cement for construction of roads and houses under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Housing for All scheme by 2022, the GST Council may bring cement and paint down to 18% tax slab from 28%.

The GST revenues have more or less stabilised with GST collection surpassing Rs 1 lakh crore mark in April this year. The new indirect tax regime has also added close to 54 lakh new tax payers into its ambit. Now, the government is planning to concentrate on solving the problems of traders on a war footing. Exporters have been complaining of lack of tax refunds under GST and small traders still find it cumbersome.

“The GST Council in its next meeting will delve on two issues of rationalising tax rates further and making tax filing easier,” an official said.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram too attacked the government on Monday for not notifying some GSTR forms asking how long the government plans to use the temporary forms and whether it is valid to use such forms.

“Does the government know that millions of traders and exporters are affected because their money is stuck and not being refunded promptly?,” he asked in a tweet.