The government is pushing for rolling out goods and services tax (GST) from July 1 and industry has been given sufficient time with the rules, law and basic structure in place for implementing the reform measure and now they must put in place the IT infrastructure for the roll-out, a top official said on Monday.
“We are ready for implementing it from July . The law is ready , the rules have been finalised and are in public domain and our IT infrastructure is ready,“ revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia told TOI.
He said that the GST Network (GSTN), which is putting in place the information technology backbone for the new tax regime, will start live tes ting in the first week of May .“We reviewed the GSTN on Saturday and they are prepared.The industry wanted some time and they have got it, now it should start putting its software in place,“ the revenue secretary said.
Although the government has time till September for rolling out GST, given the amendment to the Constitution, it is keen for a quicker transition so that the teething problems, if any , are sorted out at the earliest. As a result, all efforts will be made to meet the July deadline.
The government had earlier thought of implementing the tax that will subsume central excise, service tax, VAT and several other levies, including cesses and surcharges, from April. The deadline had to be deferred as the states and the Centre took more time to iron out their differences.
In Kolkata, minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal too stuck to the July roll-out date. “Hundred per cent GST will be implemented from July 1,“ he said Some industry bodies and tax practitioners have suggested that a September deadline was more feasible as industry would be better prepared.
Last week, the government finalised four sets of rules, while draft for public comments on five other aspects was released on Saturday . The state and the central bureaucracy will now sit down and fix product-and service-wise rates -called fitment in tax parlance. A decision on most aspects is expected at the next meeting scheduled for Srinagar in the second half of May . The GST Council has agreed on four slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% with a cess on tobacco, soft drinks, pan masala, luxury vehicles and coal.