The Centre on Tuesday said it will review the preparedness to roll out the much-pending goods and services tax with state governments across the country, a show of confidence by the government in implementing the uniform tax proposal despite the bill still being stuck for parliamentary nod.
“We will review GST preparedness with all the states,” Hasmukh Adhia told reporters after taking as Revenue Secretary.
The official‘s comments assume significance at a time when the just-ended Parliament session was adjourned sine die without a consensus on the GST roll out issue, after failing to reach an agreement with the Congress party and the Left Front.
The government is expected to convene a special session of Parliament to pass the bill, despite Bharatiya Janata Party lacking majority in the Rajya Sabha
The GST, tipped to be the biggest tax reform in modern India, aims to streamline taxes and would also ease the way companies do businesses and pay taxes at a uniform rate.
The revenue secretary also said the government would try and be fair in handling tax matters, including the contentious MAT issue, that is hurting India’s image among foreign companies and investors.
“We will be just and fair in tax matters such as Minimum Alternate Tax,” Hasmukh said.
About 68 foreign institutional investors have been issued notices to pay to the tune of Rs 602 crore in tax dues, for transactions held years ago. The new set of notices had already sent stock markets in panic and investors had pulled out their money. The government had then appointed A.P. Shah Committee to look into the issue. The committee has suggested keeping the FII away from the MAT ambit.
However, the government cannot take a final decision, as one of the companies – Castleton, a unit of GlaxoSmithKline has challenged the notice in Supreme Court of India. The judges are yet to decide on the dispute.