GST regime to be launched on July 1
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday cleared the pending rules, including transition provisions and returns, with all the states agreeing to the July 1 roll-out of the GST. "We were discussing the rules and (they) have been completed. Transition rules have been cleared and everybody has agreed for July 1 roll out," Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told reporters here.
GST will subsume all major levies including excise, service tax and VAT, unifying 16 different taxes, and make India a single market. The GST Council had last month fitted over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the tax brackets of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chaired the 15th meeting of the GST Council and said that it will again meet on June 11, before the roll out of the new indirect tax regime. The all powerful council has also finalised the GST rules regarding transition and return filings.
Jaitley said that the council was also apprised of the IT preparedness which is necessary for the successful roll out of the GST. "GSTN made a detailed presentation on the amount of work done and IT preparedness," he told reporters after the meeting.
Isaac's statement of all states agreeing to the July 1 rollout assumes significance as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her state would not roll out the new indirect tax regime in its present form. Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, however, attended Saturday's meeting.
Banerjee had said on Friday that her government would not support the new GST system in its present form and that her government would write to Jaitley for making changes to make it suitable for all sections of the society.
"We will not support the GST in its present form. In its present form, it doesn't suit every section, especially the unorganised sector. They (Centre) have to rectify it... We have to continue with our fight to bring down the tax rates on certain products," she had said. "Unless the rates are reduced, they will adversely impact the state's economy and employment," she added.