The government today emphasised that Good and Services Tax will be rolled out from July 1 and preparations are in full swing for its smooth implementation, as it sought to dispel rumours of a possible deferment. There have been demands from certain sections of the industry for a deferment of GST rollout. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra too had proposed to postpone GST by a month. “The Government of India has emphasised that GST is scheduled to roll out on July 1, 2017. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in coordination with the state governments have increased their outreach programmes so as to reach the last trader,” a finance ministry statement said. In a tweet, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said: “The rumours about GST implementation being delayed are false. Please do not be misled by it”. The ministry said that preparations are in full swing for a smooth implementation of the landmark reform GST from July. The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had over the last three weeks decided tax rates on over 1,200 goods and 500 services and fitted them in either of 5, 12, 18 or 28 per cent slab. After the last meeting of GST Council, Jaitley had said the Centre and states have completed discussion on most of the issues.
“Irrespective of the date in which it starts, some people will say they are not ready, so that have no option but to get ready… You require a honest intent for that,” he had said, responding to a query that small traders and artisans were not technologically ready for meeting GST compliance.