GST to Be a Reality Soon – Finance Ministry
The Finance Ministry today said discussions with the state governments on Goods and Service Tax (GST) are in the final stages and its implementation will help improve transparency and efficiency.
Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman also emphasised that the NDA government has zero tolerance towards corruption and would focus on “accountability in the tax administration”.
“GST will be a reality soon as consultation process with the state governments is now in final stages. GST will result in simple and unified tax structure which will bring transparency and efficiency in tax administration,” Ms Sitharaman said.
She was addressing the annual Conference of the Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax here today.
The GST will subsume indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax at the central level and VAT on the states front, besides local levies.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill, prepared by the previous UPA government in 2011 to pave way for rolling out GST, is yet to see the light of the day as states have been opposing the rollout on account of Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation.
Ms Sitharaman also said the revenue targets in the case of indirect taxes for the current financial year 2014-15 are “challenging but are very much achievable”.
The government has budgeted to collect over Rs 6.24 lakh from indirect taxes in the current fiscal, up 20.28 per cent over the collection in 2012-13.
She said the synergy between Ministry of Commerce and Department of Revenue has grown stronger in the last couple of months, which is a very good development for the economy at large.
Speaking on the occasion, CBEC Chairperson J M Shanti Sundharam assured that the officers and staff of CBEC will not leave any stone unturned to achieve the revenue targets.
She said that Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is in constant dialogue with the Ministry of Commerce to increase its revenue share in international trade.