GST rollout on June 30 midnight, former PM Manmohan Singh invited: Arun Jaitley
GST will simplify a web of taxes, regulations and border levies by subsuming an array of central and state levies, including excise duty, service tax and VAT.india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 15:03 IST
The much-awaited goods and services tax (GST) will be officially launched at midnight of June 30 during a special function in Parliament’s Central Hall.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday there will be no special session of Parliament, though a function to launch the GST will be held in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee and vice-president Hamid Ansari.
Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda will also be present for the function. Chief ministers have also been invited.
Days before the new tax structure kicks in, Jaitley said he expects some initial hiccups in the new taxation system.
“The challenges may occur due to some technical glitches or filing problems, but over medium to long term, revenues of Centre and states will grow and the size of formal economy too will grow,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
FM Jaitley said switching to the new tax regime will boost revenues as GST would help in checking tax evasion and bringing more transparency.
“Consequently, it should have a positive impact on the GDP,” said Jaitley.
Ruling out any further slippage in the timeline, Jaitley said small businesses have been given enough time to prepare for the July 1 rollout.
“We have been saying for the last six months it would be July 1, nobody has any business not to be ready,” Jaitley told reporters. “If he’s still not ready, then I’m afraid he does not want to be ready.”
Around 6.5 million firms have already registered for the GST and more are expected to sign up for what has been billed as the biggest tax reform in India’s 70-year history.
Once implemented, the GST will subsume all central and state-level taxes and levies, and will bring single tax on supply of goods and services. The GST Council has finalised the tax rates of all goods and services, placing majority of them under four broad tax slabs -- 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. However, several items of necessity or religious importance have been exempted from the tax structure.
All states barring Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir have passed their state GST laws. These two states are expected to pass the law in next few days.
(With inputs from agencies)