Journey of GST in India: A Look Back at Three Years and the Road Ahead

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India has implemented a uniform tax across India for the sale of goods & services, which was previously ruled by a plethora of taxes. Many say that GST is major tax reform in India post-independence, but in reality, it is a business process reform as it has forced the trade and industry to change the business process and adapt the rule of the land. The major taxes that were merged with GST are Central Excise, Service Tax, and VAT. Apart from these taxes, many other taxes were merged into GST. The major change is with the rollout of GST; both the Goods and Services are being governed in the same law through the treatment and procedures are different due to the nature of the transactions. The rollout of GST has also brought in federalism in a true spirit as the Central Government and the State Governments are making decisions collectively through the new Constituted GST Council. To date, the GST Council has met for 40 times, and only on occasion, there was voting over the decisions taken. GST is a game-changer for the Indian Business as it has made India a single market and eliminated the complexity of state-wise Taxation and rates. India is a large country, and it has a lot of diversity and complexity. With such complexities and diversities, it is not possible to have a cakewalk. These are the teething troubles we are seeing, and every reform has to pass through this phase. This also requires the change in the mindset of the stakeholders for the successful rollout of GST. We have made remarkable progress, and still, there is a lot of room for improvements, based on the inputs across the stakeholders. As CMAs also have to partner with the Government and make this reform the most successful across the globe. The process of GST is made totally faceless right from registration to return filing and other areas as we have adopted digitalization. The digitalization had come with its own set of challenges as we Indians normally tend to file returns only at the 11th hour. Some black sheep are also exploiting the system, and to curb there; the GST Council has adopted e-waybills, matching for availing input tax credit and to be rolled out are new return formats and e-invoicing. During the last three years, we have a slew of notifications/circulars/orders have been issued. Though people say it negatively, it is good news, as the Government is listening to all the stakeholders and trying to address the anomalies from time to time. 

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Moulik Jain
I am a seasoned marketer specializing in Tax, Finance, and MSMEs. I bring a wealth of hands-on experience to demystify complex subjects, providing insightful guidance for entrepreneurs and finance enthusiasts alike.

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