Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that after the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST), there was an increase of 18 percent in Direct tax collections.
Addressing the gathering at Ambedkar International Centre to mark the first anniversary of the GST through video conference, Jaitley said, this year the first quarter shows advanced payments, the gross figure has increased by 44 percent.
"Despite challenges to the global economy, we had a direct tax increase of 18 percent. The first quarter of this year shows that the personal income tax collection, the gross figure has increased by 44 percent and corporate tax by 17 percent," Jaitley said.
The Union Minister further said that the idea to bring India into a single tax slab was not possible as a large number of populations in India are below the poverty line.
Jaitley termed the GST as a monumental economic reform and said the need for its roll-out was important as earlier indirect tax regime was complicated.
"Indian had fragmented market and it was necessary to switch it over to a more efficient system. A system which does not involves these complications," he said.
Further hitting at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Jaitley said that they were not able to implement the GST as they were not able to create the comfort level with the state governments.
"It was important to respect the concerns of the state. We analysed the genuine concerns of the state. Having brought them to the negotiating table on the strength of the CST payment we agreed to pay to the States, after discussing in the GST Council, a 14 percent increase of revenue for the first five years for any loss of revenue. The States jumped for this proposal and we succeeded in winning the trust of the States back for the GST enactment," he said.
Launched on the midnight on June 30, 2018, by Prime Minister Modi and the then President Pranab Mukherjee, the taxation scheme aimed at bringing all taxes into a single window along the lines of the 'One Nation - One Tax - One Market' goal.
However, the GST has been criticised time and again by the Opposition for its negative impact on small traders and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).