The government has received unanimous support for rolling out the landmark indirect tax reform Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July onwards, power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal said today.
He was speaking to the media after a meeting with the industry representatives on key GST provisions. “We spent a lot of time discussing various aspects of the new GST regime which will be rolled out from 1st of July. Most of the issues were of technical nature which we could resolve,” Goyal said.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the ministry of finance too. “There were some issues where we felt more consultation maybe called for with the GST council. But, overall the broad picture is that not a single participant requested for deferment of the July 1 roll out,” Goyal said during the media briefing.
The minister also said that issues related to solar panels falling under the 18 per cent tax slab have been resolved and clarified that GST implementation would not have a major impact on power tariffs. Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia had last month clarified that all solar power equipment and its parts would attract 5 per cent GST only compared with nil duty at present.
Goyal also said that the provisions regarding the utilisation of fly-ash generated in power plants needed more clarity. Fly-ash utilisation is environment-friendly and the government wants to encourage its utilisation, Goyal said, adding that he has requested to raise this issue during the next GST council meeting.
He also stated that certain components of the cable industry which fall under the 28 percent slab need more clarity. “In the cable industry, a certain sector has been kept in the 28 percent slab. We may request the council to review that particular industry as it has two regimes coming under 18 percent and 28 percent slabs. This may result in discrimination by participants in the same sector,” he said.
Goyal called GST the best example of cooperative federalism and said the government expects it will get the same support from people as demonetisation. “This is the biggest reform in the country which has received 100 per cent unanimous support. Everyone unanimously believed that this is a great step towards transparency. There will be a transition period and there will be certain teething troubles which we are all prepared to face, whether we do it in now or later. People are happy that we are moving towards a regime which will eliminate the possibility of illegal transactions,” Goyal said.
The minister also said that certain “vested elements” were spreading rumours on the excess returns one will have to file under the new regime. “This is a complete misinformation campaign that people have to file so many returns. It is being spread by vested elements who do not want to come under an honest tax regime. The regime has been made simple. All the small players and manufactures have been given much relief,” he said.
For the roll-out of the new taxation regime from 1 July, the government has categorize 1,211 items in a massive list under the various tax slab rates of GST.