After the Parliament overwhelmingly passed the Constitution Amendment Bill required for rolling out Goods and Services Tax, the government is readying enabling legislations like the Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Bills for winter session, Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Tuesday.
On August 8, the Lok Sabha passed the Constitutional (One Hundred Twenty Second Amendment) Bill after the historic passage in Rajya Sabha on August 3. The government is rushing other legislations and administrative set ups so as to roll out the country’s biggest tax reform from April 2017.
“The GST roadmap has already been laid out. States have to rectify the GST Bill now. We will bring the enabling legislations (on CGST and IGST) in the winter session of Parliament,” Meghwal said at a conference.
“We are committed for GST rollout on April 1 2017.”
Although the Parliament has passed the GST Bill, the suspense now is over the GST rates.
BN Sharma, an additional secretary in the Revenue department, said the proposed GST Council will take a decision on which tax and cess will be subsumed.
There is broad understanding that all indirect taxes and cess should be subsumed, he said. “We don’t have the luxury of time. So we are working with states on GST.”
“Once states ratify the GST Bill, we have to form the GST council. The Council will take all decision relating to threshold, compensation and other aspects. The GST Council also has to firm up the model GST laws,” Sharma said.
“All the states will have to pass the SGST laws.”
While terming GST as path-breaking and a move that will make India a common market, CBEC Chairman Najib Shah said “there are going to be challenges. We may not have a perfect law as consensus building is a challenging process.”
Sharma said the second aspect of GST roll out is IT preparedness. “We have to integrate IT structure of CBEC, States, RBI and GSTN. Draft law has been put in public domain for two months now. We have received about 40,000 suggestions on draft model laws.”
India’s indirect tax regime is all set to undergo a sea reform in few months from now.
The CGST and the IGST will be enacted by the Centre, while the states will have to enact the model SGST law.
Apart from the legislations, the government is also in the process of setting up the IT infrastructure for smooth rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1, 2017. Infosys is working on the GSTN backbone that will be put in place before April 2017.
Fighting against time to implement the country’s biggest tax reform from next year, the government has geared up to ready all business process and laws on GST.
In October 2015, the finance ministry sought public opinion on the draft business processes on GST registration, GST refunds and GST payments by putting up the drafts on https://mygov.in/group/department-revenue/.
The draft Model CGST, SGST and IGST laws, along with GST business processes for filing of returns, will soon be put up for public comments.
GST seeks to subsume many indirect taxes at the Central and State level. The proposed dual GST envisages taxation of goods and services simultaneously by both the Centre and the States.
Already, committees comprising of officers from the Central Government, as well as the State Governments, have been constituted for the drafting of Model CGST, SGST and IGST laws, and GST business processes of registration, refunds, returns and payments.