New Delhi: Former finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) proved to be both consumer and assessee friendly. On the second anniversary of GST rollout, Jaitley in his latest blog titled ‘Two Years After GST’ said,”After two years, one can confidently argue, without fear of contradiction that GST proved to be both consumer and assessee friendly. The high taxation of pre GST era pinched the consumers’ pocket and acted as a disincentive against tax compliance. The last two years have seen each of the meetings of the GST Council reducing the tax burden on consumers as the tax collections improved.”

In a veiled attack on Congress party which had been criticising the GST, ever since it came into effect from July 1, 2017, Jaitley said,”Those who argued for a single slab GST must realise that a single slab is possible only in extremely affluent countries where there are no poor people. It would be inequitable to apply a single rate in countries where there are a large number of people below the poverty line.”

He added,”In the pre-GST regime, the rich and the poor, on various commodities, paid the same tax. The multiple slab system not only checked inflation, it also ensured that the Aam Aadmi products are not exorbitantly taxed. Illustratively, a hawai chappal and a Mercedes car cannot be taxed at the same rate. This is not to suggest that the rationalisation of slabs is not needed. That process is already on.”

Read his complete blog here:

On the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, 2017, GST came into effect across the nation amid a historic midnight session in the Central Hall of Parliament.