The rollout of the Goods & Services Tax across the country has been smooth with 22 states and UTs, including West Bengal and Delhi, abolishing checkposts, adding to the efforts to ensure that the changeover to the new tax regime is hassle-free and least disruptive for businesses and consumers.
Eight states are on the verge of scrapping the checkposts, which is expected to ensure smooth flow of goods across the country . The removal of checkposts will come as a huge relief for trucks which queue up for hours to get their consignments and papers checked, causing delays and adding to costs.
A session of the assembly of J&K, which is yet to enact the law for the implementation of GST, has been convened on Tuesday to consider approving the legislation. Sources in the finance ministry said that there has been no inflationary impact of the new tax regime: an assertion which was significantly endorsed by the CPM-led government in Kerala. The LDF government issued a statement in Thiruvananthapuram saying prices of more than 100 products have been brought down under GST. State finance minister T M Thomas Isaac came out with the list of products to counter widespread complaints that there was no positive impact of GST in the state.
Keen to ensure that the momentum is maintained, authorities are also keeping a close watch to ensure that any roadblock is removed swiftly. Cabinet secretary P K Sinha reviewed the postGST implementation situa tion with the secretaries and senior officials of different ministries and departments.
The cabinet secretary urged every secretary to take up the responsibility of addressing GST-related issues of their respective stakeholders, trade and industry . He asked them to coordinate with state government officials to ensure smooth implementation of the tax measure. Sinha also asked all departments to ensure that there is no shortage of products and commodities especially consumer items in order to keep the prices under check.
The cabinet secretary also urged officials to ensure that retailers, dealers and shopkeepers display the post-GST prices of different items being sold by them. He said each department and ministry should make sure that benefits of GST are passed on to consumers which would help keep inflation under control. Sinha asked all departments to ensure that various machines used by dealers and retailers for computerised billing are calibrated at the earliest to reflect the GST rates. He said this exercise should be completed in a timebound manner without delay .
It was also decided that a weekly review meeting will be held to keep a close watch on the situation. The cabinet secretary also told the officials to launch campaign to make consumers fully aware about issues linked to GST.
The Centre also appealed to the people not to circulate wrong messages on social media as no distinction is made in the GST law on any provision based on religion.
21 Feb 2020
22 Feb 2020