Will The GST Miss The Deadline Again??

The statements which are coming from the officials of the Finance Ministry is reflecting that the scheduled date for the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax i.e. April 1,2011 which is also an extended one ,will miss the deadline again.

It is a well known fact that a lot of things are required to be done for the introduction of GST but the priority at now is the finalization of draft Constitutional Amendments on Goods and Service Tax so that the Amendment Bill may be introduced in the Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session. However ,the fact is that still the Centre and the States are not agree on even the draft of the Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The earlier draft was rejected by the States on account of the proposed vesting of Veto Power with the Union Finance Minister on State Taxation issues. As a result, a second draft was prepared by the team of Finance Ministry. The revised draft of the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST drops the main issue of giving Veto power to the Union Finance Minister and said the Council could take a decision only when there is a Consensus. But that could not convince mostly all the states as the BJP ruled states alongwith some of the allies of UPA asked for one month's time to study the revised draft and give their views on various provisions in the GST bill.

Now the team of the Finance Ministry seems to be busy in making the "Third Draft". But there is no clear cut indication about when it is supposed to come. Moreover, it will be required to put that again for discussion between the Centres and States in the meeting of the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers. Now it all depends on the Finance Ministry to bring the draft as soon as possible , who knows that circumstances thereafter forces the Government to bring one more revised draft. If this is going to happen then the Government dream to introduce the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Monsoon session will not take much time to be finally considered as "Dream" only.

All these ups and downs in the Goods and Service Tax are not only pinching the Finance Minister but also all those who have great interest in GST. Here we can take the example of those professionals who are doing practice in the indirect taxes as GST is expected to replace the Excise duty, Service tax on the Centre’s end and VAT on the States front.

The dedications shown by the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee towards the introduction of Goods and Service tax till now indicates that something is going to happen soon and that would also give the correct picture of the GST future. But, if the introduction of the GST get delayed further from its scheduled deadline , then the Government will certainly looses all its momentum...