Govt targets to rollout GST by April next year
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government has set a target of April 2017 to roll-out the goods and services tax (GST), as it is banking on regional parties to support it and pass the legislation in the monsoon session of Parliament next month, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance.
“If the government can pass the GST bill in the monsoon session of Parliament (starting next month), then it can be implemented by April 1, 2017," Sinha said.
“The centre has enough support of the regional parties to clear the bill in Rajya Sabha, even without the support of the major opposition party, Congress,” he said.
Earlier, the government was planning to introduce GST on April 1, 2016, but could not succeed as the bill remained stalled in the opposition-dominated upper house.
The Congress party is demanding a limit on the total rate of 18 percent and to scrap the excess one percent tax designed to compensate manufacturing-leading states, which fear they could lose revenue if tax is implemented.
According to the Finance Ministry, the Parliament had approved a constitutional amendment to allow GST, with sanctions from more than half the states. The ministry said the parliament should pass another bill to implement GST.
The GST bill would create a single national sales tax to replace several state and central taxes. The bill has been cleared by the Lok Sabha, but is pending in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is lacking majority.
"Our expectation is that we will get support from many parties. We would like it to be passed with a national consensus, so we would like all parties to approve it,” Sinha added.