‘Final GST draft coming soon, exemptions drastically cut’

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) The finance ministry will shortly roll out the final draft of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill after drastically pruning the list of central exemptions, an official said here on Thursday.

“The government will roll out the final GST draft paper in the public domain very soon,” said Special Secretary (Revenue) Rashmi Verma, addressing ‘Indirect Tax and GST Conference: Recent Developments in India’, without revealing the exact timeframe.

Verma said the government would drastically prune the list of exemptions currently being enjoyed by the industry as incentives for business expansion in hilly states and north-eastern part of India.

Reduction in exemptions would result in seamless flow of goods and services tax and substantially arrest its cascading effect, she said.

“Tax exemptions until now extended to industry for their expansion and diversification will have to go with GST legislation becoming a reality,” said Najib Shah, chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Verma also said a large number of concerns and issues raised by the industry concerning GST had been addressed at the conference which was organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

With the basic draft of GST bill already present in public domain, the government has been engaging with state governments and the industry to take a balanced view of the concerns and issues of the stakeholders, she added.

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