With the midnight gong at the Central Hall of Parliament, GST has been implemented in India. It’s a historic moment for our country, with PM Narendra Modi referring to the new tax regime as ‘Good and Simple Tax’ which is ‘pro-poor’, quoting the Bhagavad Gita.
All this while, the media has been blaring GST at us constantly, much like a beaten track on repeat mode. It almost seems as if we have been warned and prepared for an attack, but no one knows what it looks like or what effect it would have on us.
Is it going to be a friendly one, becoming a panacea for all that ails our tax system or is it going to be a horrible ogre, whom we can only stare at in fright but cannot decipher what it is really all about?
Everyone knows ‘GST is coming’ much like the ‘Winter is coming’ of the Game of Thrones fame, but while ‘winter’ is a dreaded metaphor in the show, GST is the butt of all things funny, chiefly owing to the fact that its imposition, its processes, and its implications are far beyond the understanding of the people whom it affects.
Way2Online, the local language short news app has conducted a survey between 26th to 30th June with over 3,60,000 participants across the country, shows how well or rather how poorly people across the country knew about GST and its implications.
The extensive research revealed that only 45% of the respondents knew about GST, concluding that only less than half of the population is aware of the new tax system. The rest 55% does not know what the ‘GST’ is.
Out of the many insights that the firm has got from the research, an interesting takeaway is, Telugu speaking states – Andhra Pradesh & Telangana has shown higher awareness about GST with over 64% of the population knew about it and only 36% is not.
Interestingly, Even though many are aware of the GST in Telugu speaking States, the majority is of the opinion that the change in the tax system is not a good news to them. The survey showed that only 42% of Telugites are convinced that GST is beneficial and the other 58% responded with either ‘Not Beneficial’ or ‘Have No Idea’ about its pros and cons.
While Telugu States has the highest awareness on GST, Interestingly, Tamil Nadu State has the least awareness about GST. 76% of Tamil Nadu people are unaware of GST. Only 24% of people are aware of GST.
Also, only 25% in the state thinks that the Goods and Service Tax will ease the tax burden, while 40% believes that it is of no use to them. A considerable 35% of the TN population is unsure about GST, summing up the majority state population skeptical about GST.
On the other side, 59% of the Urban Audience said that they know about GST. Still, the confusion remains among them as 60% thinks it would not make their lives better and 80% either assume that there will be a spike in prices or have no idea about its implications.
This uncertainty is not only with the Urban Audience but also with the overall population in our country. A total of 41% expects a surge in the prices and 35% are still not aware of its consequences.
Adding to the insights, Raju Vanapala, CEO, and Founder, Way2Online commented, “Post the survey, we could easily conclude that there is a lot of uncertainty that smothers GST. While 59% of the urban audiences are aware of the bill; a whopping 80% assumes that there will be a spike in prices or have no idea about its implications. The conclusion of the survey underlines the severe need to address the questions of a common man, as more than half of India’s population is unaware of the ‘Good & Simple Tax’, which supposedly ‘Pro-Poor’
Moving on, this is how other states responded about their familiarity and understanding of GST.
|GST Awareness||Is GST beneficial?|
|State||Yes||No||State||Yes||No or No Idea|
|West Bengal||38%||62%||West Bengal||32%||68%|
Hindi Speaking states
|48%||52%||Hindi Speaking states||43%||57%|
We would like to conclude by saying that, GST aims to bring one Consolidated Indirect Tax to cover multiple Indirect Taxes.
Thereby lives up to the tagline ‘One India, One Tax’. But, there is a severe need to address the questions of the common man, as the survey shows that more than half of India’s population is unaware of the ‘Good & Simple Tax’ which is supposed ‘pro-poor’.
Way2Online is a Hyderabad-based local language short news app that caters to seekers of news & information both in English and 8 regional Indian languages. It has over 13 million downloads and records over 2 billion screen views engagement every month. Its mission is to create a fresh news experience with strong focus on all things local. Way2Online App incepted in December 2015 by Raju Vanapala, Founder, and CEO, Way2SMS.com.