CA Shankar Rochlani
H’ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley (FM) in his Budget Speech exhibited his commitment to introduce GST from 1st April 2016 by mentioning about Goods and Service Tax (GST) multiple times in his Budget Speech 2015.
Following are few of the key aspects mentioned about GST the Budget Speech:
The Economic Survey 2014-15 (ES), which was released just a day before the Budget, also discussed about GST at length.
Thus, it can be observed that various steps are proposed to uplift the current indirect tax regime in line with proposed GST regime as under:
i. Rate of service tax was increased to 14% (with 2% of Swachh Bharat cess it may go up to 16%)
ii. Subsumed Education cesses with Excise and Service Tax
iii. Pruning of exemptions and Negative List
iv. Simplification of registrations, CENVAT credit related procedures
v. Permission to maintain records in digital format
Looking at these steps, in a way FM, through his Budget, is asking the industry and trade to gear-up for the next biggest tax reform in the India history since independence i.e. GST
Now, with the target date of 1st April 2016, the 13 months available for introduction of GST could be a tough target to be achieve, but achieving tough targets is what the new Prime Minister is known for. So, let’s hope for Acche Din Aane wale hai from 1st April 2016.