13 April, New Delhi
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to four supporting legislations related to Goods and Services Tax, GST.
The legislations are the Central GST Act, 2017, Integrated GST Act, 2017, GST (Compensation to States) Act 2017, and Union Territory GST Act, 2017. It paves the way for the roll out of one-nation-one-tax regime from 1st of July this year.
Meanwhile, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that services sector is likely to attract a higher tax rate of 18 per cent under the Goods and Services Tax GST regime from the current 15 per cent.
Mr Adhia said this in an interview to a News Agency in New Delhi. He however, maintained that sectors like healthcare, education and agriculture are in exempt list and likely to remain so.
He said, the government will recommend this to the GST Council and it will take a view on it. Expressing hope that GST Council will agree on the matter, Mr Adia said the government’s attempt is not to upset too many things in one go.
He also said that some services which currently have less than 15 per cent tax rate may attract lower rates.
At present, the services sector is taxed at 14 per cent with two additional cesses, Swachh Bharat Cess and the Krishi Kalyan Cess attracting half a per cent each taking the tax burden to 15 per cent.
Currently, there are about 60 services which are exempt from service tax, including education, healthcare and religious pilgrimage. The Revenue Secretary also noted that since petrol and petroleum products have been kept zero-rated under the GST regime, transport can be a good candidate for 5 per cent tax rate.
On the issue of GST roll out, Mr Adhia said, the government is determined to roll out the new tax regime from 1st of July and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.
He also informed that the live testing of GST is scheduled to begin from first week of May