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Services spared from extra tax during GST transition

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Delhi: The government on Tuesday said that the services sector will not be charged extra tax levied during the transitional period of the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
According to Rashmi Varma, special secretary, revenue, in the finance ministry, the one percent additional tax which is proposed to be levied during the transitional period of GST for two years will not impact services sector.

Verma, who was addressing the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Big Picture summit held here, elaborated that the additional levy will only be charged on the manufacturing sector.

The special secretary assured the media and entertainment (M&E) industry that the soon-to-be-implemented GST will be a game changer for the sector.

“Multiplicity of tax will go in one stroke. Entertainment, services and goods tax both at the Centre and states will be built into one — making compliance hassle free.”

However, the entertainment tax levied by local authorities like panchayats and municipalities will remain, she clarified.

“But, the share of such taxes to the total tax collected would be insignificant. Close to 99 percent of the taxes levied under the Centre and state dispensation would be merged with GST,” Verma said.

She assured the industry that under the GST regime, goods and services would be taxed uniformly.

The industry had voiced concerns over the lack of definitional clarity between goods and services, tangible and intangible goods.

Verma said all industries would be eligible to take credit under GST to set off against other tax liabilities.

“We are working on the transition roadmap, so that the change-over hiccups will be minimal and if there are any concerns remaining, the GST Council, which will be set up after the constitutional amendment, will look into it and take corrective actions,” she said.

Besides the ongoing process, the top finance ministry official mentioned that a fourth draft proposal on returns will be put in public domain to seek the views of all stakeholders.

The ministry plans to place a model legislation in public domain by mid-November. It also plans to hold regional workshops to elicit the views of the industry associations at the apex and state levels.

Verma said there would not be any concessions or incentives schemes under the GST regime.

“The states which want to continue with the fiscal concessions for specified sectors could do so, setting apart resources from their own kitty,” she said.

She added that no final decision has been taken on GST rate.

“The slabs under the GST would be minimal – one low and the other high and in between a standard slab – to keep the cascading effect to the minimal and easy to comply.”

“It is not in the sinful list, I can assure you that,” Verma added

(IANS)

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Empowering The Nation Through ‘Digital India Project’

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The digital india project includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge. Wikimedia Commons
The digital india project includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge. Wikimedia Commons
  • Digital India Project will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology
  • The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)

Digital India initiative has been launched by the government of India to increase digital connectivity and make governance more transparent. The initiative includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge and universal phone connectivity across the country. Under the digital program, the government plans to introduce Public Internet Access Program, Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity and much more. These all platforms will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way.

Also Read: Section 377: Does It Really Has Anything To Do With Indian Culture?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology to connect and empower people in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce, etc. The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. The initiative is to bring big investments in the technology sector and this will further help in creating a participative, transparent and responsive government.

The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. Wikimedia Commons
The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. Wikimedia Commons

Here are some key initiatives which form a part of Digital India week:

  1. SWATCH BHAARAT app

The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. The program has turned into a national campaign with citizens becoming active participants in cleanliness drive across the nation.

The dream of Mahatma Gandhi of a ‘Clean India’ is being realized with millions of people across the country joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments to make India clean as a part of this ‘Jan Andolan’.

The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. Wikimedia Commons
The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. Wikimedia Commons

Website: https://swachhbharat.mygov.in/

  1. PRADHAN MANTRI JAN-DHAN YOJANA (PMJDY)

Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion plan comprising an integrated approach to bind all the financial transactions of all the citizens. The plan contemplates universal access to banking facilities at least one basic banking account in every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility.

The scheme proposes of channelling all Government benefits (from Centre / State / Local Body) to the beneficiaries’ accounts and pushing the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the Union Government.

Website: http://pmjdy.gov.in/

3. GOODS AND SERVICE TAX NETWORK (GSTN)

The GST System Project is a remarkable and complex IT initiative. It is for the first time that a uniform interface is established for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and States.

Also Read: 10 Famous Indian Scientists Who Made The Difference

The platform is a trusted National Information Utility (NIU) that will help in achieving a reliable and efficient IT backbone for the smooth functioning of the Goods & Services Tax system. It enables economic agents to leverage the entire nation as one market with minimal indirect tax compliance cost.

Website: h ttp://www.gstn.org/index.php

4. FARMER PORTAL

The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector through information and communication technologies. It will help in supplementing the existing delivery channels provided for by the department.

The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector. Wikimedia Commons
The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector. Wikimedia Commons

Farmers’ Portal is an initiative to create a one-stop window for meeting all informational needs relating to Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sectors production, sale/storage of an Indian farmer.

With this, Indian Farmer will not be required to scuffle through different websites for any information.

Website: http://farmer.gov.in/

5. eVISA

The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). It strongly backed by Ministry of Home Affairs,  Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation for implementing this programme.

Also Read: Kalpana Chawala: The Woman Who Made The Difference

The e-Tourist Visa enables the foreign visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country without visiting the Indian embassy and can also pay the visa fee online.

Website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

6. DIGITIZE INDIA

Digitize India is an initiative under the Digital India Program of the Government of India. Digitize India Platform will provide digitization of services of all the scanned document or physical documents for any official work.

The focus is to digitalize all the existing data which are in different formats into data extracts for document management

Website: https://digitizeindia.gov.in/

7. DIGITAL AIIMS

Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity by the Unique Health Identification Number and it will be generated on an Aadhar platform.

Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity. Wikimedia Commons
Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity. Wikimedia Commons

The project was initiated in January 2015 with the creation of an effective linkage between AIIMS, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).

Website.http://ehospital.nic.in/ehospital/

8. DIGILOCKER

Targeted at the idea of paperless governance, DigiLocker is the flagship program of the Indian Government. The initiative aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

DigiLocker runs parallel with Digital India’s vision, where every citizen of the country will be provided with a private space on a public cloud and making all documents/certificates available in this space.

Through this platform, issuance and verification of documents will be done in a manner, thus eliminating the requirement of any physical documents.

Website.https://digilocker.gov.in/