Many successes chalked up during first year of GST

By L Badri Narayanan, Jyoti Pal and Disha Jain, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan

After a year of goods and services tax (GST), India can pat itself on the back. While giving full respect and effect to democracy, keeping intact the federal structure, the country has been able to successfully introduce and implement a completely new tax law subsuming multiple taxes. The GST law itself is extremely complicated with heavy compliance requirements. But the GST regime is still better than the previous system which existed in India. India was in an unusual position in this regard, as many other countries made the transition to GST or value-added tax from no indirect tax in any form.

L Badri NarayananPartnerLakshmikumaran & Sridharan
L Badri Narayanan
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan

Despite all its complexities, GST implementation is widely seen as successful in India, and there are multiple reasons for this. The first and the most important one is the GST Council, which has been able to speak in a unified voice on all the issues. With every GST Council meeting, various concerns raised by different industries have been addressed. Numerous circulars, sets of frequently asked questions, and amendments to rate notifications have been issued, sending a clear sign on the part of government that it is willing to do everything to make the transition to the GST regime as smooth as possible.

Another reason for success has been the willingness of taxpayers to comply with the law. In general, it can be seen that taxpayers are complying with all the procedures – from filing returns to the generation of e-waybills – and the overall attitude of industry is to be compliant with the rules, regulations and procedures pertaining to GST.

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L Badri Narayanan is a partner at Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan. Jyoti Pal and Disha Jain are principal associates.

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