GST roll out from July 1, says Arjun Ram Meghwal

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The Centre is confident of rolling out the Goods and Services Tax regime by the scheduled July 1, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said here on Sunday.

According to him, the Centre is already working on ironing out any road-block and even States are co-operating.

“100 per cent GST will be rolled out from July 1. We have also initiated discussions with the various State governments to ensure that their IT systems are aligned with the GST regime,” Meghwal said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The Centre, he said, has also asked State governments and trade and industry bodies to take up the issue of implementation of GST with various stakeholders and participants.

“If there is any training that is required (at the State government levels) we will do the handholding,” he further added.

This apart, the Centre would also look at suggestions and feedback that various stakeholders have sent to the ministry so far.

Four supplementary legislations – The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill 2017 were recently cleared by the Lok Sabha paving way for implementation for the nation’s biggest ever indirect tax reform. A decision on the tax structure is expected to be taken at the next meeting scheduled in May.

Ease of doing business

Reiterating the benefits, Meghwal pointed out that GST implementation can lead to faster movement of goods within the country without trucks being stopped at check-posts for various tax collections.

This will not just bring down travel time and costs.

“A truck will take almost half the time to travel to deliver once GST is implemented and free movement of such vehicles allowed,” he added.

The other benefit would be improved “ease of doing business” and one of the many economic reforms that have been planned for.

Small traders

The Centre, he said, was aware of issues raised by small traders and assured protection of their interests.

One such move was having a threshold limit of Rs. 20 lakh. This means, small traders with a turnover of upto Rs. 20 lakh will be kept out of the ambit of GST.

“For traders having a turnover between Rs. 20 lakh and Rs. 50 lakh, we also have a composite scheme. So even their interests are protected,” Meghwal added.

Guidance centres may be set up, while common service centres can be leveraged to help small traders.

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