The Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley in his attempt to appreciate the governments efforts stated that the percentage rates under the goods and services tax (GST) regime would never the less be “significantly different” from existing levels, giving cues that there would be minimum alterations when it is rolled out on July 1. “We are now in the final stages of fixing tariffs for different commodities. The formula under which it is being done has also been explained and therefore nobody is going to be taken by surprise,” he said. “It’s not going to be very significantly different,” he said, mentioning that the rules and regulations governing GST are ready for roll out.
GST being the major landmark in Indian Taxation Regime and the most awaited form of Tax from over decades will certainly work towards bringing as ease for the states to create a market pool of lowered down costs and increased efficiency , thereby enhancing growth.
Presiding over at the annual session of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the finance minister laid emphasis on companies to pass on the benefit of reduced levies on the consumers in addition to lowering down the compounding effect of different central and state levies.
The GST council in its next move is supposed to meet at Srinagar somewhere in the end of month of May 2017 to have a final verdict on the GST rates thereby subsuming all the Indian indirect taxes; the Council has finalized four slabs—5%, 12%, 18% and 28%—after unifying levies such as central excise, service tax and value added tax (VAT).
The finance minister observed that the GST Council has held 13 meetings and has never had to resort to a vote on any issue due to differences, deciding matters through consensus.
Mr. Jaitley stated that the council is of the view that any benefit accruing from lower tax rates under GST should be passed on. “Profit is not a bad word but unfair enrichment is. And therefore the benefit of reduction in taxation is a benefit that consumers are entitled to. And that’s not a principle that can be seriously contested,” he said. He further added that the dismantling of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is almost done and this will prepare the ground for more reforms in FDI policy. “I am now in the final stages of doing away with the FIPB because 90% of the investment in India comes under the automatic route. So for the balance 10%, do we need multiple forums to give approval, or we need just one forum in one ministry?”
Mr. Jaitley who is the holder of charge of both the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry added that a policy to encourage domestic defense manufacturing is almost ready. “We are in advanced stages of formulating a policy where we can ensure that instead of just being buyers… on the strength of technological and other tie-ups, India also becomes a manufacturing economy.”