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GST Will Bring Transparency

Ranjani Saigal

"It is exciting to serve in the IRS at this time.  GST is about to be rolled out and it will bring transparency,” says Amarjeet Singh, who serves as Additional Commissioner at Customs for State of Gujrat at Ahmedabad. An IIT Graduate, he talked about his passion to serve India and shared how his work at the revenue services impact India. 

“It is exciting to serve in the IRS at this time.  GST is about to be rolled out and it will bring transparency” says Amarjeet Singh, who serves as Additional Commissioner at customs for state of Gujrat at Ahmedabad. An IIT Graduate, he did his B.Tech in Civil Engineering and his M Tech in construction management. He worked for a few years in the private sector in the construction Industry. He did not quite enjoy the job and decided to do a LLB part time.  As he continued to seek a career path that made him happy, he decided to appear for the civil service exams. Lo and behold – he found his passion – working for the revenue services. 

How is that a nationalist thing to do  â€œ The government is the agency that provides large scale solutions to several problems. By ensuring that the government collects the taxes which is its source of income, ensures that social programs are supported and India can be on its way towards development” says Singh. 

The big new recently in the field of taxation was the GST. GST ushers in greater transparency for consumers. It benefits manufacturers too. Instead of liaising with multiple tax authorities, the manufacturer gets to deal with a single entity – the GST Network. That can really bring down corruption and speed up permits that can be very helpful for businesses. Much work has to be done to negotiate the income distribution between states and other issues do need to be resolved. 

When GST was mooted, there were apprehensions that the default GST rate would be pegged at 20 per cent or higher, that service tax rates would shoot up from 15 per cent and that essential goods would attract steep levies to bolster tax revenues for the exchequer.

But these fears have been allayed by the GST Council, which has designed the rate structure to be progressive. The default GST rate is 18 per cent. Merit and essential goods (atta, milk, bread, medicines, tea, coffee) remain zero-rated or attract just a 5 per cent levy. Most packaged products attract 12 or 18 per cent. The 28 per cent rate is applied to what are perceived to be demerit goods, with a cess on ‘sin’ goods. A similar graded scale, rather than a blanket rate, has been applied to services too.
“Being part of the system at this time is really exciting. Very rarely does one see such major policy being crafted. GST is one such occasion. It has been truly an honor to be able to impact the policy.  Also under the current leadership, there has been a great emphasis on reducing corruption and bringing transparency. Much work is being done along those lines and I am honored to be a part of it” says Singh. 

Are there other engineering from IITs who are considering a career in the civil services? “Yes. It has become a popular option. People are very taken with the opportunity to impact policy that will create a lasting impact on the nation.  We are seeing many IIT graduates enter the civil services” 

Amongst his many passions, music tops the list. He loves to sing and can be heard singing a variety of Bollywood tunes. He lover tennis and Yoga. 

It is indeed good to meet a IRS man who works with such passion to ensure the good of the nation. 

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