With states and the Centre still locked in stalmate over control of tax payers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the issue will be resolved in next few weeks for rollout of the GST regime from April 1.
The all-powerful GST Council, which has been deadlocked in the past few meetings, will meet on January 16 to discuss the issue of jurisdiction over assessees as well as taxation of trade in territorial waters. "Most of the issues have been sorted out, some critical issues remain and these critical issues over the next few weeks we will try and solve out," he said addressing the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here.
Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is to subsume most of the central and state taxes like excise, service tax and VAT, needs to be rolled out latest by September 16, 2017, he said. Under the Constitutional Amendment passed by Parliament for the GST implementation, some of the existing levies would expire after September 16.
Jaitley said the government was aiming to implement the new sales tax from April this year. "We would want it to be implemented from April if all issues are resolved."
Once implemented, he said, GST combined with more digitised economy resulting from currency demonetisation and a more efficient tax system will "make India look much better, make our economy look much cleaner, much bigger".
He hoped that the industry, assessee and states will eventually cooperate and make GST as well as the two moves successful. GST and demonetisation together will lead to "higher revenues in future, greater compliance and give us a cleaner and better economy," Jaitley said.
"There is a provision for GST implementation because Constitutional Amendment has been passed. So it's Constitutional necessity that before September 16 it should be rolled out," he added.
GST, or a national sales tax, will replace a jumble of levies to create one of the world's biggest single market. A single tax will make it easier to do business in the world's seventh-largest economy as also help combat evasion, boost revenue for the government.