Goods and Service Tax (GST)
The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India was a historical move, as it marked a significant indirect tax reform in the country. The amalgamation of a large number of taxes (levied at a central and state level) into a single tax is expected to have big advantages. One of the most important benefit of the move is the mitigation of double taxation or the elimination of the cascading effect of taxation. The initiative is now paving the way for a common national market. Indian goods are also expected to be more competitive in international and domestic markets post GST implementation.
From the viewpoint of the consumer, there would be a marked reduction in the overall tax burden that is currently in the range of 25% to 30%. The GST, due to its self-policing and transparent nature, is also easier to administer on an overall scale.
The GST Council also finalised on the GST rates and GST rules. The Government declares that the GST Bill will be applicable from 1 July 2017, following a short delay that is attributed to legal issues.
Constitution (One Hundred and First) Amendment Act, 2016
GST Council: A Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) was created by the union finance minister, revenue minister, and ministers of state to take decisions on GST rates, thresholds, taxes to be subsumed, exemptions, and other features of the taxation system on September 2016. The state finance ministers mentioned that the Empowered Committee (EC) would be a platform for states where there would be discussions of their regional issues. The GST Council is a separate entity that would oversee the implementation of the GST system.
Decisions taken by GST Council
Some of the major decisions taken by the GSTC so far are: