GST rollout deadline of April challenging: Raghuram Rajan

The government's chief economic adviser has recommended a main rate of 18 percent, but many states want it to be higher while Congress wants it to be capped.

"The GST Council will work on the functional modalities".

July 27 - Congress proposes tweaks to the GST amendment.

"Today, an important move to free the nation from tax terrorism has begun", he told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament.

"We will have to prepare three more laws".

- The GST Council, a forum bringing together the centre and the states, should draft the key terms and scope of the GST. "We do not visualise GST coming in before 2017", he said.

Ironically, the GST is getting closer to the finish line under Modi who, while running the state of Gujarat, vehemently opposed it - a fact that drew criticism from opposition benches.

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While the Centre will have one-third voting power, States will have two-third voting power but the expectation is that decisions will be taken through a consensus.

However, Modi government succeeded to get support of various political parties for the passage of GST Bill which envisages uniform tax regime across the country.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has welcomed the passing of Goods and Services Tax Bill.

"A meeting of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers is imminent as they have to be formally briefed about the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill". The AIADMK staged a walk-out before the bill was passed in the upper house.

The government has removed the one per cent additional levy and agreed to compensate for any loss of revenue to the states for next five years. Industry can now think of 'One India, ' which was truly pursued by nearly all political parties in true letter and spirit.

The GST Constitutional Amendment Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha recently and the government is working hard to meet the April 1, 2017 deadline for rolling out the new indirect tax regime.

The Finance Minister said that after the GST comes into place the tax base is likely to increase as it will improve ease of doing business and mitigate tax evasion and tax cascading effect.

  • Sonia Alvarado