Govt spent Rs 132.38 cr on GST advertisements

New Delhi: The government spent Rs 132.38 crore on advertisements for GST, an agency under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said in reply to an RTI query.

As per the Bureau of Outreach and Communication under the ministry, the “expenditure on GST advertisements through this bureau” on print media stood at Rs1,26,93,97,121. It, however, said there was “nil” expenditure for the same on electronic media. For outdoor media, the expenditure for GST advertisement stood at Rs 5,44,35,502, the bureau said in its RTI response dated August 9, 2018. The bureau was replying to query on the sum spent by the Centre on advertising and awareness campaigns on GST.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented on July 1, 2017. Ahead of its roll out, the Centre had gone for a media blitz to create awareness about the new tax regime. Days ahead of the implementation, the government started coming out with full-page advertisement in leading dailies explaining various procedures and processes to be followed by industry for complying with GST rules. The government had also roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador to promote GST and inform people about its benefits. Govt had also issued a set of 50 FAQs in the form of full-page advertisements.

Only 1,800 businesses opt for migraon to GST regime

  • Only 1,800 businesses that were registered under VAT and service tax regime have applied for migrating to the GST.
  • The GST Council, in its meeting in July, had allowed businesses with provisional ID to migrate to GST regime.
  • The govt had then asked these taxpayers to approach the jurisdictional nodal officer of the Central or state govt on or before August 31, 2018, along with provisional ID, registration number under the earlier law, reason for not migrating in the system, along with the contact details.
  • “About 1,800 businesses have migrated to GST regime availing the latest migration window. The number could go up as the state tax officers are still compiling data,” a top official said.
  • Currently, over 1.15 crore businesses are registered under the new tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, of which 63.76 lakh have migrated from the erstwhile service tax and VAT regime, and over 51 lakh are new registrants.

Exemption bar gone up to Rs 20L

  • The process of migration of existing assessees to the GSTN had started in a phased manner from November 2016.
  • In the VAT regime, businesses with turnover upto Rs5 lakh were exempt. However, in GST regime, the exemption threshold has gone up to Rs20 lakh. Hence, all businesses who were registered under erstwhile Indirect tax, need not migrate to GST.

(With inputs from PTI)