Govt. on GST awareness overdrive, ads galore across media

New Delhi: Ahead of the mega event to roll out the GST on the midnight of June 30, the Centre and state governments are on a media blitz to create awareness about the new tax regime.
The government has started coming out with full-page advertisement in leading dailies explaining various procedures and processes to be followed by industry for complying with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also issued a set of 50 FAQs on various provisions of GST in the form of full-page advertisements in newspapers, answering queries of traders and business.
In order to create consumer awareness, CBEC has since the beginning of this month started giving pictorial representations of items along with the tax rates.
The CBEC website too has been tweaked to include on the homepage a new GST section that has information on various government notifications. Users can access specific notifications or circulars pertaining to Central Tax, integrated tax and Union Territory Tax.
The government has already roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador to promote GST and inform people about its benefits.
Apart from newspapers, the government has also used television and radio commercials for outlining the benefits of GST.
Besides, outreach programs are being organized by each customs house for the benefit of importers, exporters, custom brokers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders.
Also, two Twitter handles — ‘@askGST_GoI’ to answer industry queries related to the new indirect tax regime and ‘@askGSTTech’ for queries relating to technology — have been set up to reach out to people via social media.
A four-rate structure that either exempts or imposes a low rate of tax 5 percent on essential items and top rate of 28 percent on cars and consumer durables has been finalised. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 percent.
GST also represents an unprecedented exercise in fiscal federalism. The GST Council, that brings together the central and state governments, has met 17 times to thrash out how the tax will work.
For importers and exporters specifically, the CBEC and commercial state tax departments have jointly come out with a detailed advertisement on Integrated GST, compensation cess, bill of entry, shipping bill and courier forms for facilitating faster customs clearance.
With over 66 lakh taxpayers migrating to the portal, GST Network has released three videos to help the people register themselves on the portal.
GSTN, the company handling the IT back office for GST rollout, has been issuing provisional IDs to businesses registering under the new tax regime.
The government is planning to launch GST at the midnight of June 30-July 1 from the Central Hall of Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will attend the ceremony, along with members of Parliament.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already invited former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda to attend the event.

- Advertisement -