Goods & Services Tax (GST) in IndiaFinalisation of 3 GST Laws & GST Roll Out on 1st July 2017

February 3, 20170
Finalisation of 3 GST Laws & GST Roll Out on 1st July 2017
It appears that the Central Government as well as State Governments representing in GST Council have finally made up their strong will to implement GST from 1st July 2017.
Finalisation of GST Laws
Finalisation of 3 GST Laws
It took 9 meetings of GST Council to decide upon various critical issues in last meeting held on 16th January 2017.
GST Council
The next meeting of GST Council is scheduled on 18th February,2017. The agenda of the 10th meeting of GST Council will be to finalise 3 GST laws i.e CGST, SGST & IGST.
The revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia on roll out of GST by 1st July 2017  has aired that 
Industry is looking forward to the laws and rules. Once they are finalised by the GST council, it will pave the way towards the implementation of GST from 1 July. The agenda of the next meeting is to look into all the three laws. In the subsequent meetings, we’ll take up the rules. As far as rates are concerned, it’s going to be a simplistic formula. The council has said that there would be four slabs: 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent and 28 percent,”
Empowerment Panel on GST
It is pertinent to note that after  the announcement of the Budget on 1 February2017, the finance minister of West Bengal Amit Mitra, who also  heads the empowerment panel on GST, sent 16 demands to the Finance Ministry.
Amongst such demands, the significant demand was  related to the provisions of arrest in GST .As regards to arrest clause, a consensus exists that there should be no arrest in cases of tax evasion up to Rs 2 crore. However, evaders between Rs 2 and Rs 5 crore could face bailable arrest. Above tax evasion of above Rs 5 crore, it may invite non-bailable arrest.
GST Rules
Once the 3 GST laws are finalised , the draft GST rules will be taken up for legal vetting in GST Council. Thereafter, such rules shall be also uploaded in public domain for suggestions at par what has been done with draft GST Acts so far.
GST Awareness & GST Implementation
The Finance minister during his budget speech presented on 1st February, 2017has categorically stated that
the preparation of IT system for GST is also on schedule. The extensive reach-out efforts to trade and industry for GST will start from 1st April, 2017 to make them aware of the new taxation system.”
He further emphasised on earliest implementation of GST in budget speech to the effect that
Centre, through the Central Board of Excise & Customs, shall continue to strive to achieve the goal of implementation of GST as per schedule without compromising the spirit of co-operative federalism. Implementation of GST is likely to bring more taxes both to Central and State Governments because of widening of tax net. I have preferred not to make many changes in current regime of Excise & Service Tax because the same are to be replaced by GST soon 
Finally, GST is inching much closer for its implementation on 1st July 2017 as we  all had been hearing that some day GST will be a reality but this time no change in indirect taxes with statement to such effect in budget  elevates the hope of GST becoming a reality by 1st July 2017 only.

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