UNCERTAINTY IN THE GST CONTINUES.....
Finally the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukerjee speaks about the future of the Goods and Service Tax and the words spoken by him were not surprising at all.
"GST is unlikely to be implemented from the scheduled date of April 1, 2011." The main reason for this is the Constitution Amendment Bill which was not tabled in the Monsoon session. Despite of the best efforts taken by the Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, he failed to table the much awaited Indirect Tax reforms Bill, for introducing the Goods and Services Tax, in the monsoon session of Parliament. GST legislation can be undertaken only after the Constitutional Amendment but a strong opposition from the BJP ruled states puts a hold on its roll out in the Monsoon Session.
Earlier when the Finance Minister proposed the rates for the Goods and Services Tax, a consensus was almost formed among all the states in connection with those rates. But the proposal to give the Veto Power to the Union Finance Minister suddenly changes all the momentum. However, the revised draft from the Finance Ministry drops the main issue of giving Veto Power to the Union finance Minister and said that the Council could take a decision only when there is a Consensus.
But the BJP-ruled States along with some of the allies of the UPA, have been opposing the revised draft of the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST and asked for more time to study that and give their views on the various provisions in the GST Bill . Also, they wanted to know the clear meaning of the consensus and suggested changing the word with "consent".
In order to remove their concerns, a third draft would be prepared by the Finance Ministry. Even after facing such a huge set back, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is leaving no efforts from his side for the successful implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. He said that there will not be any reduction in the intensity in the ongoing work relating to GST.
Now it can only be said that the flames which are coming from the GST fire, which once taken a very good height, are now cooling down.