GST not merely tax, promotes honesty, social reform: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday while hailing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a ‘historic reform’, said its implementation is bringing India closer to the dream of ‘One Nation One Market One Tax’.

Addressing the nation in the 34th episode of his radio programme, ‘Mann ki Baat’, aired on All India Radio, Prime Minister Modi while describing the ‘Good and Simple Tax’ said it is not merely a tax reform, but a means of encouraging honesty and social reform.

“It feels good when people from as far as the North-east write to me describing how the GST has made commodities cheaper. Within just one month of its implementation, we have seen a positive change. There is a new found faith displayed by customers in traders,” he said.

According to Prime Minister Modi, a wave of change has been witnessed in the transport and logistics industry, with a major boost given to economic activities.

Earlier, he revealed that due to tedious paperwork and the necessity to comply with multiple tax barriers, significant delays were taking place, with warehouses located in different pockets of the country.

With the recent development, it was noted that there is faster shipment of goods and the time taken by trucks has also reduced.

Furthermore, owing to faster mobility, highways have become clutter-free, with a sharp decline in pollution as well, he said.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi said due to the salient features of the newly launched GST App, all renewed tax rates are now available to consumers at their fingertips, thus ensuring greater ease of doing business.

“One of the core priorities of the government has been ensuring the welfare of the common man and the poor. With this new tax regime, it has been seen that although there was lack of clarity in the beginning, the poor will be benefitting from the revised prices. The transition period was also very smooth, with new registrations taking place day in and day out,” said Prime Minister Modi.

Lauding the Centre, state, governments and all those involved in the implementation of the new tax reform, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that the successful implementation is solely due to the consensus achieved between the governments at all levels of society.

“The collective strength of the society can be depicted through the effective incorporation of the GST. I’m sure this will become a case study for students across various universities,” he added.

The GST, which was rolled out at midnight on June 30, is expected to benefit all the stakeholders namely industry, government and consumer as it will lower the cost of goods and services give a boost to the economy and make the products and services globally competitive, giving a major boost to ‘ Make in India’ initiative.

Under the GST regime, exports will be zero-rated in entirety unlike the present system where refund of some of the taxes does not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States.

However, the GST will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers.

The GST is largely technology driven and will reduce the human interface to a great extent. It is expected to improve the Ease of Doing Business in India.