Wary of people getting “wrong information” about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Centre has embarked on a communication campaign similar to the one launched during demonetisation, to quell any confusion or resentment that may arise among the public.

Besides the ministers and MPs being tasked with the responsibility to “educate” the masses, the Union information and broadcasting ministry (I&B) has roped in public broadcasters All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD), which have a series of awareness programmes on the GST lined up.

Experts will participate in these shows to discuss the particulars of the single tax regime in detail and also take questions from callers enquiring about, among other things, the GST’s impact on their food/medical bills and whether business owners have to file returns multiple times in a year.

One such expert is Arun Goyal, an additional secretary in the GST Council, who will appear on AIR’s shows to offer insight on the tax regime.

“There are many students who want to know how GST will affect fees at educational institutions; similarly, tax payers across various slabs have unanswered queries,” a ministry official explained.

The programmes, which are being relayed in 23 languages and 176 dialects, are an attempt to reach out to maximum number of people. The BJP-led government at the Centre has been up in arms against the Congress, which it accuses of “misleading” the public through its attempt to “discredit” the taxation system.

“Some section of the opposition, particularly the Congress and a former finance minister (P Chidambaram) have been saying it (GST) is an imperfect system. Reforms are all about the art of possible and feasible, and never a system cast in stone,” I&B minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.

No dual levy of GST on leased aircraft

The government on Saturday exempted import of aircraft, aircraft engines and other parts from integrated goods and service tax (IGST) when airlines bring these into the country on lease provided IGST on the lease rental is paid.

The decision notified on Saturday evening brings relief from double taxation to airlines who use leased aircraft.

The notification exempted the 5 percent IGST at the time of import of these items and clarified that a 5 percent IGST will be applicable only on the lease rental paid by the importer.

The relief is provided with the condition that the importer should not sell these items without permission from the authorities and that these have to be re-exported within three months of the expiry of the lease. – The Hindustan Times