What next in implementing ‘One Nation-One Tax’

  • With Rajya Sabha passing the Constitutional amendment bill enabling the country to roll out a uniform Goods and Service Tax, India started the biggest tax reform since Independence.
  • The bill approved by the Upper house will replace a raft of different state and local taxes with a single unified value added tax system by turning the country into the world’s biggest single market.
  • GST Bill as passed by Rajya Sabha will now head back to Lok Sabha for the ratification of amendments moved in the Upper House,
  • Next—the Bill needs to be ratified by a minimum of 15 states in their respective assemblies.
  • This will have to be followed by the President’s assent to the legislation to enable the rollout of GST by the intended deadline of April 1, 2017.
  • After the Presidential assent, a GST Council with Centre and states as members will be formed within 60 days.
  • Council will recommend tax rates, including the band of rates for goods and services.
  • Three new laws will have to be passed to give shape to the new tax regime —Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) that need to be cleared by Parliament
  • 29 separate State GST legislations (SGST) that will have to be cleared by the respective state assemblies.
  • GST laws in line with the CGST to enable implementation of the new tax regime.
  • Meanwhile Technology Network for rolling out the tax regime, GST Network (GSTN), will be commissioned soon to facilitate online registration, tax payment and return filing.
  •  “We are ready with state-of-art IT designs for GST implementation. Hardware and software will all be ready for testing by January 17,” said Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.
  • The GSTN will be a not for profit, non-government, private limited company will connect the database of states and Centre and taxpayers for seamless implementation of the indirect tax regime.