A much-awaited reform to replace multiple indirect taxes with one levy — GST shall be implemented with effect from April 1, 2016 as all preparations including rules, legislation and others have been duly undertaken, said Mr K.M. Mani, chairman of the GST Empowered Committee.
“The GST constitutional amendment shall be passed in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament,” said Mr Mani while inaugurating a national conference on ‘GST@2016: Issues & Solutions,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
“GST will be a very efficient system of tax collection as there will be no scope for tax evasion,” said Mr Mani who is also Kerala finance minister.
He also said that tax base would be widened and collection would be much higher under the GST regime for both the Centre and the states.
“GST will promote ease of doing business and would boost the GDP by about two per cent,” said Mr Mani.
“Safety and security measures shall be taken care of as GST net has already offered the states to come up on information technology at par,” he added.
With almost 90 per cent of villages without electricity in India, Mr Mani said that issue of rural electrification is being addressed to ensure smooth implementation of the GST.
He also said that there is consensus to impose purchase tax on agriculture produce and therefore it will come under the purview of the GST.
Mr Mani also emphasised upon the role of GST practitioners in GST implementation.
“GST is necessary for India’s economic development,” he said. “Consumers are paying about 29 per cent both visible and invisible tax, hopefully GST will be on a lower side.”
He also said that rate of service tax will go up from the existing 16 per cent but the exact percentage could be known only after the declaration is made.