“From now, I would like equal attention to be given to the collection of tax, the numbers are going up every month, but equally more establishments and businessesshould get enrolled.The country should benefit from having a transparent tax regime in which everybody participates,” she said at an event in Vapi to launch 12 GST Seva Kendras, which are modelled on the lines of Passport Seva Kendras.
The FM also urged businesses to register for GST. “Why should they come in the tax net, not because they will pay me tax, but for the true strength of the economy and formalisation of economy can happen only when everybody is onboard… You believe that you benefit by staying out…you don’t come in the net, you don’t get to be noticed, which is not true. Actually, you are losing out on potential buyers,” she said, adding that GST has helped reduce the tax burden.
The number of entities that are registered for GST went past 1.4 crore at the end of October — almost twice the number when the new regime kicked in with 72 lakh taxpayers in July 2017, including 58.5 lakh that had migrated from the old regime and close to 14 lakh new taxpayers. The increase has, however, been gradual.
The minister also asked businesses to ensure that bills are issued to consumers, an issue, which was also flagged by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) chairman Sanjay Kumar Agarwal. The government has launched a campaign to get buyers of goods and services to upload a copy of their bills to be eligible for a contest.
Over the years, several sellers, including large stores, have been urging people to pay in cash and in the process avoid paying GST. Sitharaman, however, said that there was a need to ensure that everyone got a copy of their invoice. “A consumer should make sure that he participates in the nation building process. Your buying a product and demanding a bill is a big step forward in transparency. It is a big step forward to make sure that the money that has to go for public causes goes for it… To not bill a customer or to not give the bill to the customer, having obtained money for the product, is not in national interest,” she said.