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POLICY & REGULATIONS

GST Council to meet in Srinagar to discuss future course of tax regime
Wednesday, 17 May, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The GST Council is slated to meet in Srinagar shortly for the deliberations that will decide the future course of the goods and service tax (GST) regime. Although the government of India is ready to implement the tax by July 1, 2017, it is yet to announce the goods and services and the rates applicable thereunder.

The state governments have started passing their respective bills after the Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament during the Budget earlier this year. Uttar Pradesh, where the Yogi Adityanath government has recently come to power, has become the latest state to introduce the Bill in the state assembly.

The rules governing GST are approved by the GST Council, and the focus of the meet would be on the rates of different commodities and services. The food processing sector, which largely comprises small and medium enterprises, is one of the sectors that will keep an eye on the meet.

One of the concerns that have been raised by a number of insiders is the delay in prescribing the same. Some industry representatives opine that there should not have been a delay in announcing the details of the levy, because trades and businesses need sufficient time to respond to the proposal, even if they do not fine the rates of the commodities reasonable.

The lesser the time, the more limited the opportunity for the industry to respond to it in a meticulous manner. Moreover, while the government has projected the GST regime as a unified tax system, there are many who feel otherwise, one of them being S Jindal, president, All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA).

He stated, “The GST system is not what was envisaged earlier as One Nation One Tax. The system that has come up now is fragmented and will not serve the purpose it was supposed to.”

“The industry and businesses will have to pursue numerous versions of GST, such as Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST), State Goods and Service Tax (SGSTs) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST),” Jindal added.

“This has become jumbled and will create problems for the small and medium-sized traders in the industry and restrict their business,” he said.

“The ideal procedure is that one registration should be valid across the country, instead of separate registrations for each state. Only then will it truly be a one nation one tax regime,” Jindal added. The finance ministry has stated that registration will reopen on June 1, 2017.
 
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