Visakhapatnam: Piyush Goyal, the Union minister for energy, has said the Goods and Service Tax (GST) will usher in a new era and bring more people under the tax umbrella. In an interactive session organised by local chapters of the CII and the AP Chamber of Commerce and Industries Federation, for traders, industrialists and business persons, in Vizag on Wednesday, the minister said the GST would bri-ng about massive chan-ges in the economic sector. He said the nation would be rid of corruption through enrolling a larger number of asse-ssees who earlier evaded taxes.
The ministers said the GST would herald cooperative, collaborative federalism in the country, as all states and Union Territories had agreed to implement it. He said that of the 85 lakh registered dealers, 65 lakh had enrolled themselves under the GST. He said that after a few initial hiccups, the system would fall into place and benefit traders and entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the meeting, M. Narsinga Rao, a representative of the AP Small-Scale Granite Ind-ustries’ Association, told the minister that at 28 per cent GST, almost all of the 2,000 small industries would have to shut down. The minister replied that the tax structure would be the same for small and big industries, and he added that it was the traders’ job to attract customers by providing better services.
A similar plea was made by G. Mallik, president of the Vizag Cloth Merchants’ Association, who said that clothes were previously untaxed and implementation of the GST would increase prices. The minister told him that the tax paid by them would contribute to the nation’s economy, thus benefiting the poor and needy. In his maiden visit to the Rashtriya Ispat Nig-am Limited - Vizag Steel Plant (RINL-VSP), the minister said the RINL had a very bright future. He advised the company to foray into solar and renewable energy sour-ces to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.
He said that the Union Government would provide them with the necessary support and incentives for setting up solar power plants in the country. He assured officials of RINL that they had the Union Ministry's support in the allocation of coal blocks. He also expressed his happiness at seeing the green cover in and around the plant....