On senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's first death anniversary, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman penned an article that paid tribute to him.
Sitharaman spoke about the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, which was introduced by Jaitley in July 2017 when he was the Union finance minister.
"Recounting the benefits that this single tax has given us is the best tribute we can pay Jaitley today," Sitharaman said, in a piece published in The Indian Express. She said Jaitley will be remembered for his contribution to making India a "single market".
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According to Jaitley, the GST Council was "the first experiment with the federal institution", Sitharaman said.
Sitharaman highlighted the benefits of the GST regime, and how it has made the tax structure less complex.
"Even at introduction, items which were in the 31 percent or more tax slab in the pre-GST era were brought down to the 28 percent tax rate. This rate slab has been further pruned drastically. Most items have been brought in the 18 percent, 12 percent or even 5 percent category. "
"An analysis by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) observes that since the rollout of GST, the rate changes have brought down the GST incidence from 14 percent to 11.6 percent," she added.
Sitharaman also said the tax net had widened, stating that there are currently 1.2 crore GST assessees, as against 65 lakh when the tax system was introduced.
The GST Council will next meet on August 27.