GST can be implemented any time in 2016: CBEC

New Delhi, Oct 8 (PTI) The tax department today said GST can be implemented anytime during a year and not only the beginning of a financial year. “Missing the April 1, 2016, deadline does not mean going to 1st April 2017. GST can be implemented anytime during the year once the Bill is passed,” a CII statement quoted Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Member Service Tax V S Krishnan as saying. Assuring that the revenue neutral rate would not exceed 20 per cent, Krishnan said a committee is already working on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate structure and is expected to submit its report very shortly. In addition, the empowered committee is working with think-tank NIPFP on the revenue neutral rate based on a fresh set of data, he said. GST, once rolled out, will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi, etc, and ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country. Krishnan reiterated that drafting of the GST law has already been done and it will be forwarded to the empowered committee for its inputs. Then, it will be put up for public comments. In addition, the draft Place of Supply rules will be made public for feedback. Although the government had planned to roll out GST, which is touted as the most comprehensive indirect tax reform since Independence, from April 1, 2016, it looks difficult as the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. “Industry needs to identify challenges in the transitional provisions to the new GST legislation as well as suggest solutions to the problems,” he said. He also spoke of the need to create a state-level GST secretariat in which senior officials from the Centre and states should come together for interactions in institutionalised arrangements. PTI JD ARD

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