‘Government committed to implement Goods and Services Tax (GST)’

New Delhi, (IANS) The government remains committed to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April next year, a senior official said on Friday.

“The GST Council would be constituted after the enactment of the constitution amendment bill which is currently with the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha,” V.S.Krishnan, member, Central Board of Excise and Customs told mediapersons in an interaction at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Krishnan said that the departments concerned are currently discussing issues like the rates to be applied, threshold limits of exemptions and compounding, the list of exempted goods and services, dispute resolution mechanism and the distribution of responsibility between the centre and states in implementing GST, among others.

Navin Kumar, chairman, GST Network said the mandate of GSTN is to provide shared IT infrastructure and services to central and state governments and taxpayers for implementation of GST.

Meanwhile, an official source here told IANS that the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha met on Friday to deliberate on the bill.

The committee is required to present its report on the last day of the first week of the monsoon session of parliament beginning on Monday.

The GST is seen as the key to facilitating industrial growth and improving the country’s business climate. By subsuming most indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments such as excise duty, service tax, VAT and sales tax, the new regime proposes to facilitate a common market across the country, leading to economies of scale and reducing inflation through an efficient supply chain.

The passage of the bill to become a law is a lengthy process.

Being a constitution amendment bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha, it needs to be passed by the Rajya Sabha with a two-thirds majority and then ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before being sent for the president’s assent.

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