Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday asked GST officers to foresee the issues faced by domestic businesses and address them proactively so that they can compete on a global scale and build a self-reliant India.
In a message to tax officers on the third anniversary of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Sitharaman also said there is scope for easing compliance further for taxpayers, especially MSMEs.
Asking taxmen to focus on the clarion call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', she said for this motto of self reliance tax, especially GST, administration will have a large role to play.
"We must foresee the issues faced by our business community and proactively address the same to enable them to compete on a global scale. Only by this proactivity can we ensure much needed economic growth in near future," she said in the message on the occasion of GST Day, 2020.
GST, which subsumed over a dozen local taxes, was introduced on July 1, 2017. Since then the GST process has been simplified and return filing made easy especially for small businesses.
The GST administration has also introduced SMS-based return filing system for 'NIL' filers.
Sitharaman said more efforts are required to ease tax compliance further for taxpayers and made an assurance that the government is committed to continuing these reforms in future as well to facilitate taxpayers.
"We must strive to make the tax administration so simple that taxpayers find it easy to comply with all their tax obligations. This is the true essence of 'ease of doing business' as far as tax administration is concerned," she said.
The Minister also said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some disruptions in the economic activities in the country. She also congratulated Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and its officers for handholding taxpayers during this crucial time and disbursing record amount of refunds to ease their cash flow.