Adopt new, advanced, simplified tax system: LG motivates traders, stakeholders

Goods & Services Tax outreach programme
Report by: 
Port Blair
8 May 2017

A Goods & Services Tax (GST) outreach programme was held at DBRAIT auditorium today to create awareness among all sections of the society in general and the taxpayers in particular, about this unique tax regime, scheduled to be rolled out from July 1. Organised by the Central Excise and Service Tax Department, Kolkata Zone, the outreach programme was inaugurated by the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi by lighting the traditional oil lamp as the chief guest.
Addressing the gathering primarily consisting of the industrialists, trading fraternity, officials of the Defence and Civil Administration, the Lt. Governor said that with its introduction, the entire tax structure prevailing in India will witness a massive change. A majority of taxes levied by both Centre as well as States will be subsumed in GST and it will herald a new era in the way taxes will be levied, collected and paid, from the day GST is rolled out, the Lt Governor said adding that the existing tax structure will get simplified and returns as well as refunds will become online, exactly in tune with the slogan of ‘One Nation, One Tax’.
The Lt. Governor stated that our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has initiated many schemes and projects that are being considered as major steps worldwide today. The GST is also being considered as the next big thing to happen in India, which, he said, will not only change the dimension of taxpaying but also prepare everyone for a technology based infrastructure, with lesser complications. Thus, GST will be a new and revolutionary ‘game changer’, he said.
The Lt. Governor further informed that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a new tax, so far as India is concerned, though, by now, around 160 countries have implemented GST in some form or the other. “France was the first to introduce GST. Subsequent to that, countries like Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and others followed suit. So, it was just a matter of time, when India joined the group and it will be a historic moment when India will become the 161st nation to implement GST”, the Lt. Governor said. He also mentioned that since the Govt of India, from the examples of other countries, has already studied and taken steps to mitigate the difficulties that people might have faced while migrating to GST, its smooth implementation now has become easier. 
The Lt Governor expressed happiness that efforts are being made to reach out to the trading fraternity, so that they get themselves prepared to migrate smoothly from the existing tax regime to the proposed GST regime. The Central Excise, Kolkata Zone has been organizing a series of GST outreach programmes for the representatives of the trade and industry during the past few months, the Lt Governor said adding that this outreach programme will apprise the people of the changes that they need to get know and get ready for implementation of the proposed system. It will also help the registered assesses for smooth migration from the existing structure to the new GST regime.
The Lt. Governor expressed hope that such outreach programme will facilitate the traders in a big way and dispel the fears that may arise in the wake of embracing a new tax system. He also urged the traders and all stakeholders present in the prorgamme, to get their doubts clarified to move towards the future and take a positive step towards a new, advanced and simplified tax system, in the form of GST.
In his address, Chief Commissioner, Service Tax, Kolkata Zone, Shri SK Panda stated that switching over to GST will not only subsume a multiplicity of taxes but will also ensure that the process of doing business gets simplified. GST is technology driven and aimed at increasing speed and transparency in business, he said adding that once the GST becomes effective, the rates, market and law will be same all over the country and it will pave the way for industrialization, employment and faster economic growth. The roll out of GST will bring down the cost of the products and market will be cheaper, he said.
Welcoming the chief guest and others, especially the trading fraternity present in good numbers, the Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Kolkata Zone, Shri Rakesh Sharma stated that the outreach programme has been planned to educate and enlighten the representatives of trade & industry, Govt. official and other stakeholders in these Islands about GST. He also informed about the 3 day training programme organized for the officials of the A&N Administration about GST. He said more such training programmes will be organized in which officials and taxpayers will be made aware of the benefits of GST. He also appealed to the traders to get prepared for the new tax system and switch over to GST.
The PBMC Chairperson, Shri Eshwar Rao, Commissioner (GST Policy Wing) CBEC, Shri Upendra Gupta, the Principal Secretary (Finance), A&N Administration, Shri Raajiv Yaduvanshi, Smt. Rupa Ray also graced the function. The Commissioner, Central Excise, Haldia, Shri BK Mallick proposed the vote of thanks of the inaugural session which was followed by a technical and interactive session.