The Government is committed to introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) between April 1 and September 16. It should not be seen as a mere tax reform but as a business reform as it will affect each and every aspect of the business.
“I see this regime will convert the indirect tax administration as SMART (Simple, Model, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent),” said Upender Gupta, Commissioner (GST), Central Board of Excise and Customs.
GST is the biggest reform since Independence and nothing bigger can happen than this in indirect taxation. It is a transaction-based tax, and a great experiment with self policing model and self assessment audit.
The way business is being carried out today will completely undergo a drastic change post GST – right from procurement to sales, maintenance of record and compliance requirements, Gupta said at a seminar on ‘Demystified: Goods and Services Tax – Issues and Implications’, organised by the Madras Management Association in collaboration with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
“I feel GST is actually in a black money Bill and it will definitely ensure benefits to all. Everything will be captured on a regular basis and it will not be possible for one person alone to be out of the tax net, while others in the supply chain reporting everything,” he said.
There are questions on whether GST will be implemented by April 1 or September 1. It was also mentioned in media that GST has to come latest by September 16. To this, the answer is that because since the first Amendment Act was notified on September 16, 2015, it has only one year provision.
“What happens, when GST does not come by September 16. Does the government not have taxing powers thereafter?
The answer is that there are solutions to every problem but that solution should not be looked at this point of time,” Gupta said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been saying that GST can be introduced any time during a financial year.
“What could be the date? It is a political decision. For me it may not be proper to tell whether it will come on April 1 or not. You will come to know after the next GST Council meeting that is to take place on January 16,” he said.
For the first time, the entire rules and law of GST have been put in public domain, and feedback from the trade and industry has been examined in right earnest. “I believe there has been a substantial improvement in the second draft over the first draft and has been put in public domain,” he said.
Nearly 50,000 officials have been trained on GST so far, and various programmes on GST at the regional level are being organised by the CBEC and other trade bodies throughout the country. The attempt is in all seriousness, Gupta said.