With the Centre releasing the model GST law after evolving broader consensus with states, India Inc today hoped that the landmark indirect tax regime will come into effect from April next year.
The government has put up the model Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation for public consultations and hoped to get the bill passed during the monsoon session of Parliament starting next month.
“We look forward to the positive movement and with these initiatives, it is expected that implementation of GST with effect from April 1, 2017 will become a reality,” said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.
The model GST law, which has 162 clauses and 4 schedule, was released by the government after a meeting of Empowered Committee of state Finance Ministers on the long awaited indirect tax reform.
Virtually all states have supported the idea of GST except Tamil Nadu which has “some reservations”, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who chaired the meeting.
“Lot of hard work seems to have been put in for arriving at broader consensus with the states…Hectic times ahead for industry. All eyes on the monsoon session now for passage of the constitutional amendment bill,” said Pratik Jain, Leader – Indirect Tax, PwC India.
The GST bill — which will help create a single national sales tax to replace several state and central levies — has already been approved by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha where the government doesn’t have a majority. The main opposition party Congress has demanded certain changes in the bill.
Sachin Menon, Partner and Head, Indirect Tax at KPMG, in India said by endorsing the model GST law, the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers have shown that they are committed to introduce GST in their states irrespective of political affiliations.
“The model GST bill will put an end to the never-ending disputes about taxability of works contracts and lease transactions, as the bill classify the same as service, irrespective of whether the transactions involve goods and services,” he said.
In his comment, Mahesh Jaising, Partner, BMR and Associates LLP, said the model GST indeed reflects that the government has been working in full force towards the implementation of the legislation.