GST to provide richer database: Chief Statistician

Chief Statistician of India T.C.A. Anant on Friday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime will provide a much richer database than the tax database of the states and the central government.

“The GST is much richer database than the tax database of the Centre as well as states, because it simply integrates the two,” he said at an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

The GST, by design, not only talks about the tax liability of enterprises but also about how they connect to each other and the GST database inherently captures the transactional framework, according to him.

“We will need to examine it carefully. It is too early to say what form it will take. If we have a database which captures transactional framework, its implication for GDP measurements are huge,” Anant said.

Describing the implementation of GST from the data point of view as an “exciting development”, he said going ahead, implications of GST for India’s national account compilation would be quite large.

He said businesses would have to bear one-time transitional cost at least for the first year of the implementation of the new indirect tax regime.

Responding to a query that the GST is complicated, he asked: “Is it more complicated than what we have now? It may not be the ideal which people would have wanted. Policy is about what is pragmatically feasible.

“There were some perceptions among economists that the current structure of GST should have been simpler,” he said, adding: “It (present structure of GST) is less complicated that what we have today.”

He also said the GST was an improvement over the present indirect tax structure and it would get simpler as we go along.

Speaking on base revision exercise for measuring GDP, he said the centre targeted to take 2017-18 as a tentative base year and preparatory work has been started.

“The year 2017-18 has just begun and we are conducting a number of surveys for 2017-18, which are in the field. This along with some surveys which we have conducted recently will form the base on which we will do the base revision exercise. But 2017-18 is still unfolding,” he said.

Elaborating on indication of economic growth, he said value added growth will continue and economic growth will probably be higher than what it was last year.

“If it (GST roll out) does lead to efficiency gains, you will see an increase in growth. Whether it does or not, it is a matter of assumption,” he added.

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Via:: India Insider – India


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