Tax World reacts to announcement of GST Rates for Goods & Services

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One of the seminal moments as India continues its historic journey towards GST implementation; the eagerly awaited announcement by the GST Council on the item-wise rates came at the end of the 2 days GST Council meeting at Srinagar (May 18-19). Both goods & services, have been categorised into Nil, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% tax slabs. As India Inc. now furiously gets working on the calculators/spread-sheets to decipher the exact impact of the rates, atlas one question seems fairly settled - July 1 date is real and the countdown has begun... 
Tax Experts react to this landmark moment on the road to GST.  


N Venkataraman
Senior Advocate

Government as promised has released the rate schedule covering over 1200 items thus sustaining the GST momentum. Now states have to align realistically and in a meaningful way, which they had been so far on this subject. No big shocks and surprises and the existing Tariff format with the needed changes have come into place. Indeed a crucial leap and hearty compliments to those who had put their heads into it.

The critical question is will GST drive itself into the system on 1st July. One should understand that a New Legislation can take off without difficulty on an existing format. Whereas it's not that easy to take off, if it involves mutual trust, cohesion, commitment and involvement between the participating partners in the Federal Structure. The backbone of GST implementation is the technology orientation, induction of all participating players and it's smooth implementation.

Any amount of preparedness still appears to leave a huge vacuum. Looks like the magic rope in the hands of Devaki trying to latch and tie down the Mystic Mesmeriser Lord Krishna, always shirt by inches.

So who is to blink first. At this pace Government will be unwilling to do that. Trade has to take this sensible call and initiative and Government will happily extend it after proclaiming it as a Trade accommodation.

Intact trade should suggest a trial period, before the final whistle and Green light is blown and shown after which it becomes irreversible.