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Friday, January 19, 2018

GST launch on midnight of June 30, confirms Jaitley

Monday, 19 June 2017 13:50
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New Delhi, June 18: The official launch of Goods and Services Tax will take place on the midnight of June 30, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed Sunday as the all powerful GST Council cleared all GST rules, decided the tax rates for contentious lotteries and revisited tariffs for AC hotels revising them downwards.

“We don't have the luxury of time to defer implementation of GST. Council decided categorically it will be implemented from 1st of July onwards,” Jaitley told the media setting at rest all speculation and consultations with the government for a possible delay.

The GST Council fixed 12% rate of tax for state-run lotteries while that of the private ones will be taxed at 28%. The Council also decided that the 28% tax rate will apply to AC hotels with tariffs above Rs 7,500. Earlier the limit was Rs 5,000. Hotels with tariffs between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500 will now attract a GST rate of 18%.

The Council cleared rules relating to anti-profiteering, advance ruling, appeals and revision, assessment and audit and funds settlement but on e-waybills Jaitley said there would be further deliberations. Till then states would continue with existing systems.

The GST Council also relaxed time lines for the filing of returns for July and August. As per the revised return filing schedule, for the month of July, the sales returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10. Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by September 20 instead of September 10 earlier.

“The government is ready to allow late return filing in the first two months,” Jaitley said. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac, however, said the IT network for GST was not fully prepared but the Council decided to take the risk rather than to delay the roll out.

“It is something like building a bridge while walking over the bridge,” he said interacting with reporters after the meeting.

Industry body Assocham had raised the same fears in its letter to finance minister on Saturday and sought postponement of its implementation. Its counterpart CII, however, urged the government to stick to the timeline of July 1.

Twenty-four states have already passed their state GST laws. Rest of them are expected to pass in the next 10 days. The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was recently adjourned without passing the SGST but it is expected to clear after an all-party panel gives its report.

The biggest indirect tax reform since independence, the GST is expected to give a leg up to more than 2% of India's GDP and create jobs in almost all the sectors, according to analysts. (Courtesy:DH)

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