New Delhi: Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the newly-introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) is crucial for promoting transparency and a corruption-free business environment in the country.
Addressing a session 'GST-The Indian Economy and the Way Ahead' organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), Goyal highlighted that the new tax regime aims to bring the informal sector under the ambit of formal economy.
"The GST framework captures every transaction from end to end, recording them from source to final destination, leaving no room for uncertainty," said Goyal.
Alluding to the advantages of bringing sectors under a formal regime, Goyal said GST would enhance the tax base which will eventually lead to reduction in tax rates.
The increased revenue from taxes would enable targeted spending towards betterment of poor, old, children and women and other deprived sections of the society. Besides, the government would be able to develop better infrastructure.
"The GST would create a level playing field by removing discrepancies from the system with the help of technology. Earlier, with multiple taxes in place, it was easier to evade taxes but the GST framework makes it necessary for businessmen to record each transaction," he said.
Referring to different tax slabs under the GST, Goyal said by implementing a single tax for the entire range of goods and services, an imbalance would be created in the economy by making common goods expensive. Therefore, with different tax rates, the government attempted to keep the tax on common goods lower or equal to earlier regime wherever possible to maintain affordability.
Apart from being a session to deliberate upon the GST, it was also aimed at empowering women and enhancing their knowledge on the subject.
"FLO believes that the resources and strengths of women need to be channelised, to help their full potential. It acts as a catalyst for the social and economic advancement of women and society at large. Educational and vocational training programmes, talks, seminars, panel discussions and workshops on a vast range of subjects especially concerning women and business are a part of this process," said Vasvi Bharat Ram, President, FLO.
"While we are happy that goods such as` bindi, sindoor, kajal`, bangles, which are specifically used by women, come under no tax slot. But, sanitary products, that are useful to every woman but is not accessible as widely has been made tougher to access because of its hiked up tax rate. This is something that we would request the government to look into as sanitary pads are not a luxury, it is a necessity for women," she added.