The Narendra Modi government will table Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill for discussion in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the bill in the Upper House as the government seeks to roll out the the pan-India tax regime on July 1. Notably, the Lok Sabha earlier on March 29 passed four key GST Bills, rejecting amendments moved by the opposition. FM Jaitley had termed the bill as ‘revolutionary’. The Bills are related to Central GST, Integrated GST, UT GST and GST Compensation. The Central GST deals with taxation related to the central government, integrated GST deals in taxation of inter-state movement of goods and services while the Union Territory GST Bill covers taxation in Union Territories. The compensation law has been prepared to give a legislative backing to the Centre’s promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation. According to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the prime objective of the GST is to have one tax and each assessee with one assessing officer. Under the GST, for one commodity there will be only one tax rate in the country. The revenue department has extended by a month till April-end the enrolment of dealers with GSTN, the IT backbone for the new set-up, as so far only 60 per cent of the existing assessees are done with the switchover. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia reviewed the IT preparedness of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) last week and progress in registration of 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees with the portal. “So far, 74 per cent of the VAT assessees have migrated to the GSTN portal, while only 28 per cent of the excise and service tax assesses have enrolled for the new regime. We are going to buck up now and I have asked the department to complete the enrolment process with a fortnight,” Adhia told PTI. Out of the 80 lakh assessees, some may not require registration under the GST as they are below the threshold of Rs 20 lakh for GST levy. At present, VAT and service tax assessees with turnover of Rs 10 lakh are required to get themselves registered with states and the Centre, respectively. The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister and comprising state representatives, had decided to keep traders with annual revenue of up to Rs 20 lakh out of GST. However, for north eastern and the hill states the limit will be Rs 10 lakh. In early January, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had asked field officers to migrate all existing central excise and service tax assessees to the GST portal by January 31, 2017. In March, it had asked the officers to complete the enrolment process by March 31.
Source: Financial Express