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Govt prepares for GST roll out by April next year

Despite the onerous task of getting the constitution amendment bill for introducing Goods and Service Tax (GST) ratified by the 50 percent of the states, the Centre is hopeful that the new tax regime would be rolled out from April 1. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday unveiled a detailed road map for GST implementation. 

He said state governments run by various political parties were overwhelmingly in support of the GST legislation. Asked if Tamil Nadu would come on board for GST implementation as AIADMK members walked out of Rajya Sabha before voting, Jaitley said, India has political parties which are extremely responsible. 

The GST Bill, which was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday night, is likely to be approved by the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament after incorporating changes made by the Upper House.

The Finance Minister said the Centre was to remain accommodative but without compromising on the fundamentals of the Bill. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, who was also present in the press conference told reporters that 60000 central and state government officials will be trained on GST laws and IT framework by March next year. He said the GST is targeted to be rolled out from the April 1, 2017.    

The Finance Minister said that government was aiming for an optimal rate of taxation though the final decision will be taken by the GST Council. As regards the impact of GST roll out on inflation, he said the tax rates would come down over the years and hence the prices of many commodities would also decline.
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