GST has not only made the entire tax structure simpler but has also added hundreds of rupees in monthly household savings. The Indian households are saving Rs 320 every month after the Goods and Services Tax came into existence, the Ministry of Finance said in an internal note. The government has also given the break-up on how the families have saved this money after buying cereals, edible oils, sugar, chocolates, namkeens and sweets, cosmetics and toiletries, washing powders, and other products.
The document shows a fall in the price of cereals by Rs 94; edible oils by Rs 15, sugar by Rs 6; chocolates by Rs 25; namkeen and sweets by Rs 13; cosmetics and toiletries by Rs 19; washing powders by Rs 11; tiles and other materials by Rs 43; furniture and coir products by Rs 24; and other miscellaneous household products by Rs 70 after the implementation of GST.
Experts say that the same figures were put up a year ago as well, and that coming up with the analysis again at the time of a major economic slowdown indicates the intention to divert the attention from the recently released GDP growth numbers.
"Industry is in the grip of economic slowdown and people are losing jobs. At such a juncture, it is immature of the government to pat their back on a minuscule fall in prices post GST implementation based on a one-sided data," Rajat Mohan, Senior Partner, AMRG & Associates, told Financial Express Online. "Overall picture of households is getting worse by the day due to falling net disposable income and rising inflation," Rajat Mohan added.
India's GDP growth clocked a mere 4.5 per cent in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, which was more than a six-year low. Also, the industrial output contracted in the last two months of Q2, showing a prolonged slowdown in demand and consumption.
While the Ministry of Finance note says that the families are saving Rs 320 every month, the data shows that the overall household saving has fallen. The gross savings of the Indian household was 19.2 percent of GNDI (Gross National Disposable Income) in FY15, which fell to 17 per cent of GNDI in FY18, according to the RBI's latest annual report.