The finance ministry in a series of tweets highlighted what it claimed as positive changes brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, on the occasion of the first death anniversary of former finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday. Notably, Mr Jaitley held the ministry when the GST was implemented in July 2017. Terming the implementation of GST as a 'landmark reform', the finance ministry tweeted that earlier, the combination of value added tax (VAT), excise duty, sales tax and their cascading effect resulted in the standard tax rate being as high as 31 per cent in some cases.
As we remember Shri 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. (2/6)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) August 24, 2020
Before GST, the combination of VAT, Excise, Central Sales Tax and the cascading effect of tax on tax resulted in the standard rate of tax being as high as 31% in many cases. (3/6)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) August 24, 2020
The finance ministry further said that taxpayer base has almost doubled to 1.24 crore under GST and that it has proved to be both consumer and taxpayer-friendly.
In a separate thread, the ministry listed a number of items whose tax rates, it claimed, have come down under the new tax system. The finance ministry said that from daily use items such as hair oil, toothpaste and soap to home appliances, cinema tickets and eating out - the tax rates have come down under GST regime.
Common-use items such as hair oil, toothpaste, and soap have seen their tax rates come down from 29.3% in the pre-GST era to just 18% under GST. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/YkykooUBLq— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) August 24, 2020
Appliances such as fridges, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, food grinders & mixers, vegetable juice extractor, shavers, hair clippers, water heaters, hair dryers, electric smoothing irons,TVs (up to 32 inches) have all seen tax rates lowered from 31.3% to 18% due to GST. (2/4) pic.twitter.com/RBYR0s1F8A— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) August 24, 2020
The tax on cinema tickets, earlier anywhere between 35% to 110%, has been brought down to 12% and 18% in the GST regime. (3/4)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) August 24, 2020
The former finance minister died on 24 August 2019, aged 66. He was appointed as the finance minister in the first term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in 2014. He had opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, citing health reasons.