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The Economic Survey today said implementation of GST has shown early signs of expansion in tax base and called for inclusion of education, healthcare electricity, real estate and alcohol under the new tax regime.
The Economic Survey Volume 2, authored by Chief economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, however, decried excluding health and education from the purview of GST and lamented a "low" 3 per cent tax on gold and jewellery saying these items are consumed by the "very rich".
On top of the over 71 lakh excise, service tax and VAT payers, who have migrated to the GST regime, there are over 15 lakh entities who have taken fresh registrations under the new indirect tax regime -- which has unified over 17 different taxes.
The Survey said bringing electricity under the GST framework would improve the competitiveness of Indian industry because taxes on power get embedded in manufacturers' costs, and can be claimed back as input tax credit.
Inclusion of land and real estate and alcohol in GST will improve transparency and reduce corruption.
"Keeping health and education completely out is inconsistent with equity because these are services consumed disproportionately by the rich. Moreover, the tax on gold and jewellery products items -- that are disproportionately consumed by the very rich -- at 3 per cent is still low," the Survey said.
Goods and Services Tax (GST), rolled out from July 1, has brought in uniformity or the principle of "one good, one tax" all over the country.
"So relative to the past, there is now uniformity rather than multiplicity as well as considerably less complexity," it said.
"In the past, the Centre had little data on small manufacturers and consumption, while states had little data on the activities of local firms outside their borders. Under the GST, there will be seamless flow and availability of a common set of data to both the Centre and states, making direct tax collections more effective," it said.
It said that GST would "dramatically reduce" logistics cost and give a boost to inter-state trade in the country.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)