The Finance Ministry on Monday said GST has reduced the rate at which people have to pay tax, helped increase compliance and doubled taxpayer base to 1.24 crore. In a series of tweets, on the first death anniversary of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the ministry said before goods and services tax ( GST), the combination of value-added tax (VAT), excise, sales tax and their cascading effect resulted in high standard rate of tax up to 31 per cent.
"It is now widely acknowledged that GST is both consumer and taxpayer-friendly. While the high tax rates of the pre- GST era acted as a disincentive to paying tax, the lower rates under GST helped to increase tax compliance," the ministry said. The number of assessees covered by the GST at the time of its inception were about 65 lakh. Now the assessee base exceeds 1.24 crore.
GST, which subsumed about 17 local levies, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. Jaitley held the finance portfolio in the first term of the Modi government since 2014. "As we remember Arun Jaitley today, let us acknowledge the key role he played in the implementation of GST, which will go down in history as one of the most fundamental landmark reforms in Indian taxation," the Ministry tweeted.