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Target date of GST rollout is April 1, 2017, says Revenue Secretary

India TV Business Desk New Delhi 04 Aug 2016, 15:05:19 PM IST
India TV Business Desk

A day after the Rajya Sabha approved the long-delayed GST Bill, the government today presented the implementation roadmap for the national sales tax regime. The government said that it is hopeful of implementing the GST from April 2017.

Making a presentation before the media here, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the government hoped that all the required bills connected with the GST roll-out will be taken up for passage during the Winter Session of Parliament.

"By December 2016, all the back-end and front-end IT systems required for GST are expected to be ready, followed by testing," he said, adding that some 60,000 officers will be trained pan-India, even as wide outreach programme will be launched for trade and industry.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had called the press conference, said once the GST rolls out, doing business in India will be easier and help a large body of traders and citizens. "There was a public anxiety, almost an exasperation, over the delay," he said. "That's now over," he added.

"One of the most significant aspects is that the GST bill was passed with unanimity."

Highlights:

* Will try to be reasonably quick, hope to meet the target: FM Arun Jaitley

* Model GST Bill has 233 odd clauses, in public domain; 40,000 pages of representation received from industry in 2 months: Finance Ministry

* We will have to wait till decision of rate structure, in order to work out compensation requirement for states: Finance Ministry

Major challenges for implementation of GST

* Calculation of Revenue Base of Centre and States, along with compensation requirements of Centres

* GST Rates Structure

* List of Exemptions

* Forming of consensus on Model GST Bill

* Threshold limits

* Compounding limits

* Cross Employment to mitigate ill-effects of Dual Control

Returns

* Common return would serve the purpose of both Centre and state government. Most average tax payers would be using only four forms for filing their returns. These are return for supplies, return for purchases, monthly returns and annual return: Finance Ministry

* Small taxpayers who have opted composition scheme shall have to file return on quarterly basis: Finance Ministry

* Filing of returns to be completely online. All taxes can be also be paid online: Finance Ministry

* 60,000 officials to be trained on GST laws and IT framework: Revenue Secretary

* By Dec 2016, all back-end and front-end IT systems expected to be ready; followed by testing: Revenue Secretary

IT Infrastructure for implementation of GST Bill

* Hope the required Bills would be taken up in Winter Session of 2016: Revenue Secretary

What is the legal framework required for rollout of GST?

Three things need to be done for rollout:

* We are ready with the GST Bill as well, apart from the Constitutional Amendment Bill: Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia

* Prices could go down once GST Bill is implemented: Jaitley

* We have been accommodative in our dialogue with various political parties, but without compromising on fundamentals: Jaitley

* Once GST is rolled out, doing business will be easier, will help a large body of traders & citizens: Jaitley

* Our target is to bring up before Parliament in 2017 , the specific laws required for implementation of GST: Jaitley

* The inherent maturity of Indian politics prevailed, leading to a consensus. One of the most significant aspects is that the GST Bill was passed with unanimity: FM Arun Jaitley

In the biggest tax reform since Independence, the GST Bill was yesterday approved by the Rajya Sabha to replace a raft of different state and local taxes with a single unified value added tax system to turn the country into the world's biggest single market.

The 66-year-old Constitution, which gives power to Centre to levy taxes like excise, and empowers states to collect retail sales taxes, was amended though the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill. The legislation was approved by the Upper House with 203 votes in favour and none against, after a seven-hour debate.