Stressing that the new indirect tax regime is a major tool for improving ease of doing business, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal today said the government will be able to implement Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, next year.
“April 1, 2017, is the target date for implementation of GST in India and we are abiding by that particular target. From April 1, GST will be applicable in the country... GST is a major tool for improving ease of doing business in India,” Mr. Meghwal said at an event organised by Assocham.
The minister added that all the issues, including the GST rate, area-based exemption, slabs in rates will be decided by the GST Council after detailed discussion with the states.
The Council, which will today meet for the first time, is likely to take up the issues of dual control and threshold with states demanding that they be given the legal and administrative power for imposing tax on entities with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore in the two-day session.
The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and has Minister of State in charge of revenue and state finance ministers as members.
GST, which is considered as the biggest tax reform since Independence, will subsume excise and service tax, and various other local levies including VAT and octroi.
The Council is likely to work out a consensus on all the key issues, including GST rate, within two months so that those can be incorporated in the CGST and IGST laws.
The government is planning to introduce GST legislations — Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) — in winter session of Parliament in November.
Meanwhile, Meghwal expressed concerns over low private investment, saying it is biggest challenge before the Centre.
On ‘Skill India’ he said it is a very important programme of the government, adding “unless we skill people as per the requirement of the industry, the programme will not succeed“.
He also stressed on the need to improve agriculture sector.