Millennium Post

GST: One tax, too many interpretations

Septuagenarian Kamal Sah, who runs a roadside betel shop near Vaishali Metro Station, is happy these days! Reason: Since one week he has been charging at least two rupees more on all the commodities he sells, citing that under Good and Service Tax (GST), these items have been costlier. "The dealer has started charging Rs 48 for one Rajnigandha zipper. Since he has increased the rate by Rs three, I had no option other than to charge Rs 55 for one zipper of this pan masala," he naively explains.
Sah, however, is not an exception. Deendayal (40), who sells sugarcane juice near Rajghat, has also raised its rate from Rs 15 per glass to Rs 18. And, when someone asks for the change after giving him Rs 20 note, he hands over a candy of 50 paise in return, with his own logic: "GST mein ganne ke ras ke saath chocolate ka bhee daam badh gaya hai (Under GST, the rates of chocolate as well as sugarcane have increased)."
Though the GST, implemented from July 1, is believed to be posing a flare of hope in providing the much needed pick-me-up for economic growth in India, it appears foxing the commoners – mostly unaware of its implications. Thirty-year-old Anjoo Dalal, who works with an online portal at Delhi, had planned to purchase a gold chain for her. "As the rate of gold has increased with GST implementation, I have put my plan on ice for the time being," she says.
But the womenfolk of Burari — mostly hailing from Bihar — are the happier lot. 25-year-old Nidhi Jha straightaway starts pouring praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi: "The rates of everything that my only daughter loves (cheese, paneer, curd and sweets) have been reduced. It could happen only due to Modiji, the strongest man — who said that it is a good and simple tax for the people of India. I am sure that he'll also reduce the prices of chocolates as the children are fond of it," she hopes.
Echoing similar views, housewife Sugandha Mishra, whose husband is a CA said: "My husband says that GST is simple and transparent and will end corruption and black money from the nation."
For the young working lot, GST is a boon in disguise, to fulfill their fast lives' dreams. remarked twenty-something Damini Singh of Yojana Vihar, a software engineer with an MNC, "With the cheaper air tickets, now it will be easier to enjoy my holidays — twice in a year with my parents."
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