Moderate taxes, high evasions cannot coexist: Jaitley

PTI Mumbai | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 20, 2016


Amid intense speculation over the rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said moderate taxes and high evasions cannot coexist.

“If all taxpayers pay their taxes, it will help bring in tax rates further low. The more the evasions and exemptions, the higher will be the tax rate. So, moderate tax rates and evasions cannot co-exist,” Jaitley told a meeting of BJP workers here.

The minister was replying to a demand made by Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP unit president, to bring the proposed GST rate at 17 per cent.

Explaining the rationale further, the minister said when more people evade taxes, it brings in an aberration in tax structures.

The proposed uniform taxation regime, GST will integrate the country into one single market by ensuring a free flow of goods and services across the country, Jaitley said, adding that in order to enable this, we should have a uniform tax rate throughout the country.

The GST will ensure that taxation rates are moderate, which in turn will bring down the cost of doing business, thereby bringing down the cost for end consumers.

“You have to have one person being assessed once and not by different tax authorities in different states. This makes doing business easier,” he said.

He also said that a large section of the people, who file income tax return don’t actually pay the taxes.

Claiming that barring Dubai and Singapore, our tax rates are now becoming more reasonable, he said for indirect tax rates to come down further, there is a need to increase its base and to achieve that “everyone should pay their taxes“.

Earlier this month, Parliament passed the much-delayed GST Bill and the Assemblies of Assam and Bihar also did the same.

The Bill needs to be passed at least by 17 more states with two-thirds majority for the Bill to get constitutional validity.

The peak GST rate will be finalised by the proposed GST council comprising the Union Finance Minister and his state counterparts, even as the chief economic advisor has suggested an 18 per cent peak rate.

Published on August 20, 2016

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.