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GST, note ban increased taxpayers’ base, household savings

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NEW DELHI: The Economic Survey 2017-18 highlighted that there has been a rise in the number of taxpayers post demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This also led to increase in the household savings.

The Economic Survey sets the stage for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s annual budget on Thursday (February 1). The survey was prepared by the finance ministry’s Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian and his team.

The survey pointed out that “GST has given a new perceptive of the Indian economy and new data has emerged. There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of indirect taxpayers.” It added that “there has been an addition of about 18 lakh in individual income tax filers since November 2016.”

It further stated that “the share of financial saving is already rising in aggregate household saving – with a clear shift visible towards market instruments – a phenomenon that has been helped by demonetisation.”

Taking into account the pre-existing trend growth in new tax filers through regression analysis, the survey carried out a rigorous assessment of the impact of demonetisation.

“Taking seasonality into account it is found that there is a 0.8 per cent monthly trend increase in new tax filers (annual growth of nearly 10 per cent). The level of tax filers by November 2017 was 31 per cent greater than what this trend would suggest, a statistically significant difference,” said the Economic Survey 2017-18 released by the government today.

As per the Economic Survey analysis, new filers reported an average income, in many cases, close to the income tax threshold of Rs 2.5 lakh, limiting the early revenue impact.

“As income growth over time pushes many of the new tax filers over the threshold, the revenue dividends should increase robustly,” it added.

Since November 2016, 1.01 crore (10.1 million) filers were added compared to an average of 62 lakh (6.2 million) in the preceding six years. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had also scaled up its liquidity absorption operations using a mix of both conventional and unconventional instruments post note ban.

Updated: January 29, 2018 — 10:03 am

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