The GST Council will consider reducing tax on electric vehicles, which are seen as more environment-friendly, and the matter is pending before it, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur informed the Lok Sabha on Monday. Thakur was replying to a question asked by BJP member Varun Gandhi during the Question Hour. “The matter has been placed before the GST Council and will be considered. As of now, it is pending before the council,” he said. Thakur said the number of tax filers has doubled under the GST, and it shows that people’s trust in the new tax regime has increased. He said the council has taken several decisions since the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has brought many indirect taxes levied by states and the Centre under one regime, was rolled out in 2017 to simplify the exercise and also to benefit traders, including MSME sector. Benefits totalling over ₹92,000 crore have been provided to them, he said.
The minister said over 21 lakh returns were filed in a single day last month which, he added, indicates the new tax regime has become better with time after initial glitches and has stabilised. The tax collection in April-May this year had increased by over 8.5% compared to the corresponding period last year. He also submitted a written reply to a question asked about tax collections. The total direct tax in 2018-19 was ₹11,37,685 crore against 10,02,037 in 2017-18, he said, adding the direct tax-GDP ratio has risen to 5.98% from 5.86%. The GST collection in 2018-19 was ₹5,81,563 against ₹4,42,561 crore in 2017-18, he said, adding the total non-GST indirect tax collection was ₹3,55,906 crore in the last fiscal compared to₹4,69,092 crore in the previous year.