Government set to roll out GST by April 1, 2017
On Thursday, the government said it expects to make the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) effective from April 1 next year. A constitution amendment bill which enables the key tax reform was passed unanimously in Rajya Sabha yesterday.
“The GST rollout target date is April 1, 2017,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Hadia said at a press conference in New Delhi.
Hadia said that his target was for the majority of states to give a formal consent to the constitutional change in next 30 days, allowing a new GST Council to finalise legislations that will set the rate along with other terms of the tax.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was addressing the same press conference, said that the prices of some goods and services is expected to come down once the GST is rolled out. “I am sure once GST is rolled out, doing business in India would be easier. It would help a large body of traders and business people,” he said.
Jaitley praised the inherent maturity of Indian politics in approving the tax reform, claiming that a major step has been taken in the direction of having a uniform tax in the country. “There was a public anxiety, almost an exasperation, over the delay,” he said. “That’s now over,” he said.
The government is hopeful that the required bills, connected with the implementation of GST, will be taken up for passage during the winter session of parliament.
“By December 2016, all the back-end and front-end IT systems required for GST are expected to be ready, followed by testing,” the revenue secretary said, adding that some 60,000 officers will be trained pan-India.