The government may look to advance the Budget session to the third week of January for early passage of supplementary legislations for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
With the original date of April 1, 2017 for GST rollout looking increasingly unlikely, the government may push for July 1 as the next target date.
GST, billed as India’s most ambitious reforms move, will stitch together a common national market, dismantle fiscal barriers among states and consolidate a patchwork of local and central duties such as excise into a single levy.
The Centre and the states failed on Sunday to conclude discussions on the key enabling legislations — the Central GST Bill and the State GST Bill.
The finance minister Arun Jaitley-headed GST Council will again meet during December 22-23 to hammer out a consensus on the bills. The two other laws—the Compensation Bill and the IGST Bill—will also be taken up in the next meeting.
Jaitley said on Sunday the Centre “stands by the target” of April 1 for rolling out GST, amid hopes that the Parliament will be able to pass the enabling legislations in the Budget session in January. Under the Constitution Amendment law that was passed in August this year, GST will have to be implemented by September 15, 2017.
The government is keen to get the supplementary GST legislations passed ahead of the Union budget’s presentation on February 1 to help factor in post-GST indirect tax collections for 2017-18.
Pushing the GST’s roll-out from a date after April 1 would mean that the Centre has to account for the existing central indirect tax collections such as excise and service tax only for a few months of 2017-18.
A mid-year kick-off date would also mean that Centre has to budget for states’ potential revenue loss compensation on a curtailed year.