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A half day round-table discussion on 'GST: Perspective and Prospects' held at FORE School of Management in New Delhi
A half day round-table discussion on "GST: Perspective and Prospects" was organized at FORE School of Management, New Delhi. India has become the 4th country after Canada, Brazil and Malaysia to adopt the dual structure of GST at the state and central level which echoes from the basic doctrines of cooperative federalism enshrined in our constitution.

In his inaugural address, Dr Jitendra Das, Director, FORE School of Management, spoke about the importance of this landmark reform in indirect tax regime in independent India and how it is relevant for management students and practitioners alike to be abreast with the nuances of this new tax landscape that could streamline the Indian economy going forward.

Mr Chandan Goyal (Chartered Accountant and CEO; Blue Consulting Pvt Ltd, Noida) shared his views on the various components of GST-GST Council (comprising State and Central Government and whose Chairman is Union Minister Finance), GSTN (GST network, non-profit, public private partnership company which manages the front-end IT infrastructure and services of the GST portal), Statutes providing it statutory backing (Central GST Act, State GST Act, UT GST Act which are further supported by Rules), GST Siddha Provider, or GSP and Application Service Providers or ASP (support to taxpayers in the IT ecosystem for GST by providing application interface).

Prof Kavitha Rao from National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, shared how GST would now help move from a cascading regime of taxes-Customs, Excise, Service, VAT etc. to a more robust tax structure unifying the whole of India into one market thereby promoting efficiency of scale and effective business decision making.

Dr Amit Bagga, practicing Chartered Accountant, touched upon the reverse charge mechanism of GST where the recipient of the goods (who is registered under GST) and/or services is liable to pay tax instead of the supplier (who is not registered under GST). He emphasised that biggest beneficiary of the GST reform will be government which will net huge tax revenues as besides the increase in tax collections under a simplified GST regime there might be a positive spillover to direct tax collections.

Mr Kapil Sharma, partner, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, talked about the input tax credits (reducing the tax liability if one has already paid on inputs) in this new tax regime which he termed as "game-changer" for independent India. He emphasised that input credits being claimed shall be matched and validated and hence compliance will increase and leakages to be plugged which will subsequently making the tax net wide. He mentioned that GST could lead to better supply chain management and vendor management.

Mr Vipin Kumar Khatri, GST Faculty with ICAI, opined that GST is a consumption based tax and consists of 4 pillars – Input Tax Credits (flowing seamlessly through the supply chain), Integrated GST (mechanism to transfer between states in interstate trade), uniformity in tax system (one nation-one tax which would lead to increase in ease of doing business) and supply (includes sales, transfers, barter, exchange).

The roundtable discussion was moderated by Prof Vinay Dutta, FORE School of Management, who concurred that although GST is not that simple tax system but it is a tryst with destiny that independent India is making by simplifying and rationalising the indirect tax regime and will in all accounts hopefully, shall be hailed as a landmark in the economic history of India.

The floor was open for questions. The panelists patiently responded to the queries ranging from effect of GST on individual food bill to the GST differential rate of levy and calibration, rushing of GST implementation is a motive to boost short term revenue or otherwise, anti-profiteering clause of GST, inflationary effects of GST much to the satisfaction of faculties and students. The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Prof Vandana Gupta, Area Chair, Finance & Accounting, FORE School of Management.

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