Tight timeline for GST rollout

Live mint By Livemint Tue, Dec 13 2016. 01 27 AM IST

The GST council is scheduled to meet again on 22-23 December to pass three crucial bills, but by then, the winter session of Parliament will be over.

The goods and service tax (GST) is slated for a 1 April 2017 rollout. Photo: Mint

With the goods and services tax (GST) council failing over the weekend to finalize the contours of the bills necessary to initiate the country’s single biggest tax reform in decades, the government is now on a tight timeline to roll out GST by 1 April 2017. The centre and the states still haven’t been able to agree on how to administer small taxpayers and the council is scheduled to meet again on 22 and 23 December. But by then, the winter session of Parliament will be over.

However, it is likely that the budget session will begin early next year and offer a window of opportunity to get the necessary bills passed.

Since it’s essential to implement the GST before September 2017, as indirect tax laws will become void after that, all stakeholders will do well to get the required legislative framework in place for its rollout in the beginning of the year.

Implementing GST during the middle of the year could create unnecessary confusion in the system.

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