Will try to keep GST target of April 1, 2017: Meghwal

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The government has set a April 1, 2017 target for implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and was hopeful of achieving this Union Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said here on Tuesday.

“We are targeting April 1, 2017, for GST implementation. And we are working towards it and hopefully will achieve it,” Meghwal said on the sidelines of the 2nd Indian Cost Accounts Service Day event.

Meghwal said that after 50 per cent of the states ratify the constitutional amendment bill, three laws — central GST, inter-state GST and state GST — will be formulated.

As many as 60,000 officials will be trained to implement the GST, he added.

“There will be challenges to implement the GST because of the number of taxes that will be subsumed and on building a consensus,” Central Board of Excise and Custom Chairman Najib Shah said during a panel discussion on the GST at the event.

“The broad understanding is that all indirect taxes will be subsumed into the GST but the final decision in this regard and the tax rate will be taken by the GST Council,” Sharma said.

The empowered committee on GST, which is headed by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra and has state finance ministers as its members, will be converted into the GST Council and is expected to retain all members.

Another challenging task is to integrate the IT structures of the Reserve Bank of India, GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) and ministries, B.N. Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Revenue, said.

GSTN, a non-profit company, was formed in 2013 to prepare the IT framework for GST.

On the dual control issue, Shah said there is expected to be a single control, either of the Centre or the states.

“We are working towards single control — either it will be the states or the Centre. We do not wish to unleash two tax authorities on taxpayers,” Shah said.

–IANS

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