The fourth anniversary of introduction of GST, the GST Day, 2021, was marked by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and all its field offices across India here today. The national level programme was organised by CBIC through virtual mode on the digital platform which was attended by all field formations. GST with enhanced revenue collections for last eight months has been instrumental in building an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. The year marked enhanced taxpayer facilitation with COVID-19 relief packages being announced to ease the burden of compliance. As part of the programme 31 officers were awarded with the GST Day commendation certificate across all zones and to one officer posthumously.
In a message on GST Day 2021, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that it is a matter of great satisfaction that we have overcome most challenges, including two waves of unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, in providing stability to this new tax regime. The Finance Minister was happy to note the buoyant tax collections which crossed Rs. 1 lakh crore for eight months in a row with record GST collection of Rs. 1.41 lakh crore in April, 2021. The enhanced revenue collection in recent months should now be the “new normal, She added.
Smt. Sitharaman appreciated CBIC effort in recognising more than 54,000 GST taxpayers for their contribution to nation building on the eve of four years of implementation of GST. Taxpayers facilitation during pandemic involved two COVID-19 relief packages covering late fee waiver, interest rate reduction, relaxation of timelines and conducting refund drives to enhance liquidity in the hands of taxpayer. Further, GST rates on vaccines, essential medicines and products/services used for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 were also reduced.
The Finance Minister condoled the loss of 189 personnel and remembered their contribution to the national effort and noted the effort of CBIC in releasing a book “Shraddhanjali” to pay homage to these departed souls. Smt. Sitharaman also congratulated all awardees of ‘Commendation Certificate’ for their exceptional contribution in GST administration.
In his message, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Shri Anurag Singh Thakur expressed gratitude to trade and industry, specially MSMEs, whose continuous support and feedback has helped the Government in steadily improving GST laws, procedures and systems over last four years. Shri Thakur condoled the loss of many precious lives from the GST family to COVID-19 pandemic. Shri Thakur congratulated all officers selected for commendation certificate for their dedication, hard work and the spirit of serving the nation.
In his virtual message played during the programme, Shri Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council, highlighted that GST is a work in progress which is improving by each passing day. GST has cut down on large number of indirect taxes, brought down litigations and removed inter-state restrictions. During the programme, video messages of eminent personalities from various fields were also played.
Chairman CBIC Shri M. Ajit Kumar lauded the efforts of CBIC officers in facilitating taxpayers during the pandemic and use of technology to ensure minimum physical interaction. He appreciated the taxpayers for coming back strong post covid and ensuring V-shaped recovery of economy. CBIC effort in recognising more than 54,000 GST taxpayers for their contribution to nation building is a testimony to the fact that their support to GST is imminent. CBIC Members highlighted the automation done over the years in GST processes and exhorted the officers to enhance the use of technology. Sh. Vivek Johri, Member GST appreciated the DGARM reports and MIS generated which is used by field formations to increase revenue collections.