A tax regime that is receptive to the needs of foreign investors and a possible approval of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill can work wonders for the Make in India initiative, agreed panellists speaking at a session on finance and taxation at the ‘Make in India Week’ being held at MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai.
“GST will improve ease of doing business in India in one single stroke. It will integrate seven Central levies and eight state levies into one,” said Surabhi Sinha, Member of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
The total tax burden of corporates is expected to come down with GST even as a consensus is yet to be reached on the rates. “The cost of production will come down leading to more generation and production, thereby reducing prices of products, hence driving demand,” said B.K. Bansal, Member of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
Apart from GST and a number of measures including a possible reduction in corporate taxes from 30% to 25%, the government is also changing the focus of the taxation regime. “We are shifting the focus to taxpayers to turn them into partners in the regime. Information Technology will be a vehicle for delivery of taxpayer services,” said L Satya Srinivas, Joint Secretary (Customs) at CBDT.
Apart from e-filings of tax returns and electronic payment of duty for all Central Excise assessments, the department is also allowing the use of digital signatures, cutting down documentation and paperwork.
“The tax regime is receptive to the needs of the foreign investors. A lot of efforts are being made and we will see a much better situation by 2018,” said Ketan Dalal, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India.