Kolkata – West Bengal is the “largest beneficiary state” of Goods and Services Tax(GST) regime since its implementation on July 1 with over 56,000 companies filing for their Registration under GST in the state.
This was announced here on Saturday by Union minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal during an interactive session with members of the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry(MCCI).
Participating in a discussion on “Emerging India in the GST Era”,the Union minister stated categorically that since West Bengal fell in the category of a Consumer state only, it was poised to reap the maximum benefit from the new indirect tax regime and would also earn the maximum revenue from the new system.
But when his attention was drawn to the drastic opposition of GST by Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet colleagues including state Finance minister Amit Mitra, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs described it unfortunate and said all steps had been taken to make her government aware of the ground reality and the huge impending financial benefits of the state in the coming days.
Referring to the Registration of as many as 56,000 companies under the GST in the state within a month of its implementation,the Union minister said it was not only the highest in the country, but also far ahead of other states in terms of numbers and the proposed volume of revenue to be earned from next month.
He, however, did not mention the name of the other state following West Bengal in this regard.
Earlier elaborating the advantages of GST and clearing a number of misconceptions on various issues, Arjun Ram Meghwal said the new indirect tax regime would not only end the age old ‘Inspector Raj’ but would also drastically reduce the human interference into the whole tax compliance processes through computers.
After introduction of GST the total number of cess in the country had now also come down from over 40 earlier to just one now in order to greatly simplify the entire process of filing of tax returns by the millions of accesses,he said amid thunderous applause from the Captains of industries present.
About the creation of an exclusive ‘GST Monitoring team’ by the office of Prime minister Narendra Modi, the union minister said it comprised 30 senior ministers and as many as 180 selected IAS officers who would also apprise the general public across the country about the nitty-gritty of the new single indirect tax regime for their benefits.
Claiminig that GST would also bring an end to the heightened financial corruption in the country in phases within the next few years, Mr Meghawal stated that like in West Bengal a large number of accesis had also started coming under its net to broad-base the indirect taxation network apart from further widening the entire system with foolproof measures.
About some alleged lacuna which still existed in the Corporate Affairs,the union minister said the Modi government was seriously contemplating to set right the Corporate governance of the country in right earnest. Accordingly,since last month the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI)had blacklisted a total of 162 shell companies.A new Company’s Act was likely to be passed in the next session of Parliament to bridge these gaps,he said replying to a query.
He also assured the participants of all steps to prevent fraudulent companies from operating anywhere in the country.”Those who are still operating in some pockets would soon be dragged into the GST net”, he stated categorically.
Welcoming the guest MCCI President Hemant Bangur highlighted a number of problems still being faced by the small and medium industries following the introduction of GST and sought their clarification and assurance from the union minister for an early redressa