GST turns 7, FinMin says tax has ‘enhanced’ ease of living

The finance ministry took to the social media platform X to celebrate GST with the theme Sashakt Vyapar Samagra Vikas (Empowered Trade Overall Growth)

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Vinayak Chakravorty
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GST turns seven

The ministry highlighted how GST has been a boon for small businesses (pic courtesy official @FinMinIndia page on X)

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India’s Goods and Services Tax, or GST, turned seven on Monday. The finance ministry took to the social media platform X to celebrate the tax that incorporated nearly 17 local taxes and cesses upon introduction on July 1, 2017, with the theme Sashakt Vyapar Samagra Vikas (Empowered Trade Overall Growth).

“Today, Goods and Services Tax #GST completes seven years, and the Theme of 7th GST Day is #SashaktVyaparSamagraVikas, #EmpoweredTradeOverallGrowth, which is aptly signified by this logo on the occasion of completion of #7yearsofGST,” a post on the finance ministry’s official X page, @FinMinIndia, said.

The ministry wrote reduced tax rates over the past seven years had “enhanced the #EaseOfLiving with every household saving on expenditure on food items and items of mass consumption after GST implementation”.

“With reduced tax rates on household goods after GST implementation, #7yearsofGST has brought happiness and relief to every home through lower GST on household appliances and mobile phones,” the ministry’s wrote, adding in another post: “With reduced tax rates on consumer goods of daily use after GST implementation, #7yearsofGST has ensured happiness to every home.”

The ministry mentioned mobile phones, refrigerators, washing machines, geysers, fans, television sets sized 32 inches or less and electrical appliances barring air conditioners, which garnered 31.3 per cent tax in the pre-GST era were now taxed in the 18 per cent slab after the implementation of GST.

Food items such as lassi, curd, unpacked wheat and rice that were taxed from 2.5 to 4 per cent before the days of GST now have zero taxes after GST.

Consumers have to pay an 18-per cent tax while shopping for cosmetics, wrist watches and mattresses, besides furniture, doors, windows, and sanitary plasticware, compared to 28 per cent during the days of VAT and excise.

The ministry’s post mentioned how the GST taxpayer base and compliance have risen over the years. The GST taxpayer base shot up from 1.05 crore in April 2018 to 1.46 crore in April 2024.

The ministry also highlighted how GST has been a boon for small businesses.

“In Government’s commitment to support small businesses, unregistered persons and composition taxpayers can also make supplies through e-Commerce Operators now,” the finance ministry posted.

“Quarterly Return filing & Monthly Payment of Taxes #QRMP Scheme has reduced the number of Returns filed in a Year from 24 to 8, for more than 44 lakh small taxpayers, IFF (Invoice furnishing Facility) ensured seamless passage of ITC,” the ministry wrote, and added: “Compliance burden reduced for small taxpayers: Taxpayers having annual aggregate turnover upto Rs. 2 crore are not required to file Annual Return (Form GSTR-9). #7yearsofGST

The finance ministry also noted how through “several policy initiatives for MSME, the Government has supported small businesses, and reduced their compliance burden in #7yearsofGST”, and added: “Upsurge in e-Way Bills generation indicates #Sustainable and robust economic growth in #7yearsofGST.”

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