GST scheduled for July 1 rollout: Finance Minister

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is on schedule for implementation from July 1 and will not lead to any significant increase in prices of goods although cost of some services may see a marginal hike, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

Hailed as the biggest tax reform since India’s independence, GST will replace an array of central and state levies with a national sales tax, thereby creating a single market and making it easier to do business in the country.

Jaitley said that the GST Council, headed by him and comprising representatives of all states, will in the next few days finalise the rates of tax for different goods and services and the country is on track to roll out the simplified indirect tax regime from July 1.

“The current indirect tax structure in India is fairly complicated…those who transacted in either goods or services would have to deal with multiple authorities”.

“The whole country was divided into multiple markets. So a free movement of goods and services was not possible. Now, the idea of GST was that let there be just one tax in the country,” Jaitley said.

He added that tax rates on goods may go down marginally under the new indirect tax regime while services may see some increase.

The GST Council, which had previously finalised a four- tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent, is scheduled to meet next week to put different commodities and services in the decided tax brackets.

(Agencies)

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