Baby steps to GST

By PwC
Updated: Apr 5, 2017 06:58:32 PM UTC

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Reuters /Rupak De Chowdhuri (Image for illustrative purposes only)
Reuters /Rupak De Chowdhuri (Image for illustrative purposes only)

The journey that started over a decade back has taken enormous steps to mature. Getting the oppositions to agree, amending the Constitution, re-drafting the model drafts, passing the laws, negotiating with the trade and industry, the Government has been exceptionally striking the balance.

Though, the Wednesday’s accord might have come to ensure that the show must go on. The major verdict from the Wednesday’s debate in Lok Sabha stood in the clearance of four bills by the Lok Sabha– Integrated GST, Central GST, Union Territory GST and the Compensation Bill. The draft as approved by the GST Council has been acknowledged by the Parliament without any revisions.

In the hope to thrive their businesses in the positive manner, industries are keeping a close eye on every transformation and giving regular recommendations to the Government.

The Finance Minister (FM) Arun Jaitley in his dialog yesterday firmly confirmed the House and the people at large of this country that there would not be any upswing in the prices of the goods/services. This would be ensured by assigning a check on the existing rate-structure and suitably assigning the tax rates under GST. This would make GST an inflation-regulator mechanism instead of an inflation-slogger.

The idea of exclusion of food products & announcement of multiple tax rates was also cheered during the debate. On a supportive note for the 5-tier structure as proposed under GST, FM added that foot ware and luxury car could not face the same levy.

On the setup of GST Council, FM termed it as a federal contract with consensus, wherein the State and the Centre would receive the blessings of the GST Council in the form of recommendations on tax rate structure, exemptions under GST, etc.

After the exclusion of J&K state from the CGST & SGST Bills, J&K Finance Minister has assured that J&K would be a member of this biggest Indirect Tax reform for which the special legislation would be passed by the state to ensure the applicability of CGST & SGST Bills.

The deadline of 1st July may have been further safeguarded with this achievement, but there are still enormous footsteps to be taken to make GST a reality within the next 3 months. The subsequent phasing for proper rollout of GST would entail each & every state legislature to enact their respective state laws and framing of GST Rules.

However, among the other areas, isolating whether it is a “high Population tax” or a “one nation-one tax” is the prime demand of the interrogation going on. This long awaited kiosk will get through only when the GST would get implemented, which is hopefully 1st July 2017 as quoted by Mr. Arun Jaitley in his recent encounters with the media.

Gautam Khattar, Partner - Indirect Tax, PwC India (supported by Akshay Goyal, Associate, PwC India). Views expressed are personal.

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