The government today said it may not be possible to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April next year, as the proposal needs consent from all the states. “…the (GST) legislation cannot be voted upon until the ratification is completed…there may be problem on the time factor (April 1, 2012),” Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra said at a CII post-Budget conference . 

Ideally, the government would have liked to bring both Direct Taxes Code (DTC) and GST together, he said. DTC is expected to be rolled out from April, 2012.

The Centre and the states are engaged in talks over the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) for about four years.

The government is scheduled to table the GST Constitution Amendment Bill during the current session of Parliament for consideration.

“Even if the constitutional amendment goes in now, practically it would be referred to Standing Committee for examination,” Mitra added.

He further said if the Standing Committee give its suggestion towards the end of the Winter Session, the government can present it for voting in Parliament earliest in the next Budget Session.

“…once it is voted in Parliament, it has to go for ratification of 50 per cent states, that will take some time,” he added.

Since 2007, the government has been trying to introduce the new tax regime, under which GST will subsume most of the indirect taxes of the Centre and the states.

The GST rollout has already missed the implementation timeline of April 1, 2010, and would not be introduced from the coming April 1, the start of the financial year 2011-12.

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September 2021