With less than a month left for GST rollout, seven states, including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jammu & Kashmir, are yet to pass their legislations required for implementing the new indirect tax regime, said an official statement.
So far, 24 states and Union Territories, including Delhi, Odisha and Puducherry, have passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act in their respective legislative assemblies.
However, seven states — Meghalaya, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal — are yet to pass the SGST law. Baring Jammu & Kashmir where BJP is an alliance partner of PDP, all are non-BJP ruled states.
The government plans to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume 16 different taxes, from July 1. West Bengal wants the Centre to delay roll out of the GST by a month and the issue was raised by state Finance Minister Amit Mitra at the meeting of the GST Council last week.
Mitra said that implementation of the GST from July 1 will have “serious problems” as the IT infrastructure required to manage GST’s returns and invoice uploading are not in place”.
So far, GSTN has been able to do test drive on 200-300 companies in each state. Forms and rules have been changed in May.
The Union Finance Minister has to decide whether it should go ahead with the biggest fiscal reform when the IT preparedness is not 100 per cent,” Mitra said.
As per the GST Constitutional amendment, all states have to pass SGST bills by September 15, 2017, failing which they will lose their taxation powers.
Tag: GST bill
The government is working overtime to roll out the goods and services tax regime from July 1 and has held several workshops and seminars to familiarise traders and the industry about the new indirect taxation structure.
“Implementing GST from July 1 will definitely be a challenge for the industry… There could be people making genuine mistakes. I would say the department should be softer in the first quarter or two because it is going to be a learning process,” Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia told PTI in an interview.
He sought relaxation on imposition of penal provisions for at least a quarter or two, if not the whole year.
The GST law provides for as many as 21 kinds of penalties for various offences. Short payment will attract a penalty of 10 per cent of the tax due subject to a minimum of Rs 10,000. For various other errors, the penalty would be 10 per cent of the tax due.
On the impact of GST on the steel sector, Jajodia, also the CMD of Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited, said: “I don’t think there will be much (difference). There are no negatives at all for sure and there could be some positives because the raw material pricing, ores and coal have come down.”
However, the Assocham president said GST will provide a huge fillip to the industry in the medium to long term as the tax compliance at present is “quite tedious”.
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) which will come in force from July 1st, will unify the country’s economy into a common market and eliminate a string of central and state levies.
The act is significant as the BMC gets a considerable share of its revenue through octroi, which will now be scrapped with the introduction of the GST regime.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha passed four GST Bills without amendments setting the stage for the government for the launch on July 1.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the GST would lead to new tax regime.
The four bills passed on April 6 – the Central GST bill, the Integrated GST bill, the Union Territories GST bill and the compensation law – have already been cleared by the Lok Sabha, where the government enjoys majority.
The Centre will have a greater share of the residual amount in the compensation fund at the end of the 5-year period as the GST Bill now provides for equal sharing of the amount as against the earlier formula which favoured states, reported PTI.
According to the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, as introduced in the Lok Sabha, they will receive provisional compensation bi-monthly from the Centre for loss of revenue from implementation of GST. The draft law had provided for payment of compensation every quarter.
Tweaking the provision of the draft, which was made public in November 2016, the GST Compensation Bill said that “any residual amount left in the Compensation Fund after five year compensation period shall be shared equally between the centre and the states”.
As per the earlier draft, any excess amount after the end of five year tenure in the ‘GST Compensation Fund’ were to be divided between Centre and states as per the specified formula under which 50 per cent of the excess amount was to be devolved between Centre and States as per statute.
The remaining 50 per cent would have to be given to the states in the ratio of their total revenues from SGST in the last year of the transition period.
The bill, as cleared by the GST Council, has simplified the structure for sharing of the residual amount in the Compensation Fund.
The GST Council, comprising Union Finance Minister and state representatives, had decided to set up a compensation fund by levying cess on demerit and luxury goods. The proceeds from the fund would be utilised to compensate the states for revenue loss in the initial five years of GST roll out, which is likely from July 1.
The bill also provides for audit of accounts relating to Compensation Fund by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Also the final adjustment of compensation to be paid to the states would be done after audit of accounts of the year by the CAG.
The Bill also stipulates that the base year for calculating the revenue of a state would be 2015-16 and a secular growth rate of 14 per cent would be used for calculating the revenue of each state in the first five years of implementation of GST.
The loss of revenue to a state will be the difference between the actual realisation to a state under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and the tax revenue it would have got under the old indirect tax regime after considering a 14 per cent increase over the base year of 2015-16.
It also provides that in case of the 11 special category states, the revenue foregone on account of exemption of taxes granted by states shall be counted towards the definition of revenue for the base year 2015-16.
The revenues of states that were not credited to the Consolidated Fund of the states but were directly devolved to “mandi” or “municipalities” would also be included in the definition of ‘revenue subsumed’, the bill said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said supporting legislations for implementation of goods and services tax will be introduced in Parliament next week, reported PTI.
The finance minister maintained that GST is likely to be rolled out from July 1.
Jaitley said there is long procedure before the Bills are introduced in Parliament and the GST Council cleared those four bills only last week.
“All that exercise has been completed in the last 2-3 days… Next week, it should be introduced in Parliament and then taken up for consideration,” he said at an award function of CNBC TV18.
Jaitley further said nine different regulations have to be framed for GST.
“Four have already been approved by the GST Council, some marginal changes may be required. For other five, the drafts are being prepared and these are going to be circulated to states. We are meeting on March 31. So, hopefully all those regulations will be approved on March 31,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal had said the government may table the four GST supplementary legislations in Parliament today.
After the March 31 meeting, Jaitley said experts who have been assisting the GST Council will start working on the rate structure.
“Now in the first instance, so as not to upset the applecart, we are following a more logical, arithmetic formula,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Union Cabinet cleared four supplementary GST legislations — CGST, IGST, UTGST and Compensation Law.
Yesterday, the Cabinet approved amendments in the Customs and Excise Act relating to abolition of cesses and surcharges on various goods and services to facilitate implementation of GST. These amendments too will be introduced in Parliament.
To a query on relationship that the RBI and the government share, Jaitley said both have got defined areas of jurisdiction.
“At the end of the day, both have to respect those defined areas… You also have to bear in mind that the elected government is the only accountable institution. Therefore, its decisions have a significant value,” the finance minister said.
The council congratulates Indian government and members of Parliament for approving the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2014, an official statement by the US India Business Council (USIBC) said.
This is a significant milestone in India’s ongoing efforts to improve its ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, it said.
USIBC believes that the GST is a “game-changer” that will boost economic growth by streamlining domestic supply chains and removing the compliance burden of contradictory state tax regimes, the council said as per the PTI report.
This is bound to increase India’s global competitiveness as an investment destination, it added.
“A simplified tax structure can usher in greater compliance, increase the number of tax payers and therefore, widen the tax base resulting in higher tax revenue for the government,” USIBC president Mukesh Aghi said.
“GST is also likely to make goods cheaper for consumers, increase competitiveness of Indian exports in international markets and boost India’s GDP growth by 2 per cent,” he said.
“This far-reaching reform places India at the cross-roads of an incredible economic opportunity,” he added.
Noting that industry has been hopeful for this reform for almost a decade, Aghi said USIBC commends India’s political leaders in their commitment towards growing the economy and ensuring predictability and tax certainty for the global investment community.
There are deep benefits for both domestic and global industries in this clear, predictable, and unifying approach, Aghi said.
The USIBC has encouraged a streamlined implementation of the GST, which will provide sufficient time for stakeholders to adjust their internal systems, needed to address the new GST infrastructure.