Kerala to gain through GST: Finance Minister

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will gain from the imposition of GST from July 1, said state Finance Minister Thomas Issac on Friday.

In the first year, the state will gain around 10 per cent by way of increased tax collection as compared to present times, said the economist-turned-politician.

“This gain by the end of three years from now would be 20 per cent and this is just because Kerala is mainly a consumer state. The tax collected from anywhere on goods and services that arrive in Kerala and on online purchases, will come into the state kitty.

“With regards to telecommunication, financial and insurance services on the basis of destination principal, the tax collection in Kerala will improve considerably. For the consumer, the total tax load will come down substantially resulting in reduction in prices,” said Issac.

He said there is going to be a huge gain for the cashew and coir sectors as exports will be totally tax free.

“Kerala’s role in formulating the GST was appreciated and we stood our ground on a few issues and these were accepted. Lottery ticket sales will be only profitable for the state-run lottery as its tax rate has been fixed at 12 per cent, while for other state lotteries, the tax rate has been fixed at 28 per cent. In the coming days talks will be held between the representatives of lottery sellers and agents with regards to the new sharing of the commission,” he said.

Issac said that the tourism sector will also benefit as the room rates will come down, but the food bills might go up on account of the higher rates.

“Once the GST gets implemented from July 1, there will be lots of corrections that will take place as certain things will have to be re-negotiated as the Union Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) has assured… first let it begin and then issues will be discussed.

“The need of the hour is to create awareness and consumers have to be educated to aask for bills and ask for their address on them. Anti profiteering authority has been constituted by making appropriate provisions in the Act itself,” he added