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Nitin Gadkari says GST was ‘very essential’, sees ‘room for improvement’ – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime completing four years, Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said this tax reform was “very essential” while observing that there is room for improvement in the indirect tax regime.
Gadkari, who holds an MSME portfolio along with road transport, further said there is a need to build consensus with states to bring petroleum products and alcohol under the GST regime as the country has a federal structure.
“This tax reform (GST) was very essential though we have completed four years of GST, I feel there is room for improvement and we can make it better with support of stakeholders,” he said at an event organised by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) on GST Day.
A nationwide GST, which subsumed 17 local levies like excise duty, service tax, and VAT, was rolled out on July 1, 2017.
Gadkari, who is known for expressing his frank views, also lamented that some problems related to GST are still troubling the MSME sector.
The minister said when MSMEs bill any material and give them to firms, then it remains the responsibility of MSMEs that whether they receive payments or not, they are required to deposit tax.
“And in the government, particularly with the MSME, there are a lot of problems, their delayed payments are a big problem for us. And all small MSMEs are already facing the problems,” he said.
The road transport and highways minister said there is a need to find a way out so that some relief can be provided to the people.
“Because the state governments, the state government undertakings, central government, central government undertakings, different departments, major industries, and big people are not giving their payments (to MSMEs), delayed payments are there, that is one of the reasons that we have a lot of economic issues,” Gadkari noted.
The minister said the GST will help achieve the goal of $5 trillion economy by 2025.
He said GST is founded on the notion of “One Nation, One Market, One Tax” which has helped and will be helping the trade and industry a lot despite the prevailing pandemic situation.
The minister said digitalisation and information technology have an important role to play.
He said for transparent and time-bound decision making, process performance audit along with financial audit is very important.
The minister pointed out that 2 billion e-way bills were generated in less than three years.
Gadkari noted that India has got all the potential to become the number one economy in the world.
“We are giving the highest priority for the development of infrastructure in the country. We are constructing 38 km of road per day. We are making green highways,” he said while listing out the achievements of his ministry.
The minister stressed the need to create more jobs, and said for that reason, the country needs more investments and up-gradation in technology.

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