Nation has accepted GST, says minister

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New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla on Monday said the nation had accepted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) just one year after its implementation despite the initial reluctance due to its perceived complexity.

He said even those who were earlier critical of the new tax regime now accept it to be a “good and simple tax”.

The Minister added that this was because all decisions were taken with consensus among the GST Council members which included representatives from all states.

Shukla’s remarks came during a function organised to mark India’s assumption of the position of Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region for World Customs Organisation (WCO).

During his address, he asked the Customs Department officials to balance the twin objectives of facilitating the trade and managing the increased risks associated with cross border trade. He also asked them to ensure that the entire supply chain is secure and safe.

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The Minister said that customs administrations needed to become more efficient by reducing the transaction costs associated with customs formalities “so that trade flows are not unnecessarily restricted”.

Shukla said while governments in the past decade have been able to find the political will to commit to a structured approach to facilitate trade, which culminated in the signing of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. However, he added that a lot still remains to be done for the actual implementation of the agreement to ensure that the global economy truly reaps the benefits of trade facilitation.

India has assumed the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region for the WCO and will be heading the region for a period of two years.

–IANS

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