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Government hopeful on GST as PM Narendra Modi reaches out to opposition
In an unprecedented move, PM Modi convened a meeting of floor leaders of all major parties in both Houses of Parliament and said the purpose was to hear the opposition's views. He said the government was willing to discuss in Parliament "each and every issue" that the parties wanted on the condition that they allow the two Houses to function.

Source: The Economic Times dated 17 February 2016

Budget 2016-17: Service tax to be raised to 16% but with broader credit
The rate of service tax could go up to a flat 16% from the current 14.5% in the coming Budget, but the government would try to soften the resultant blow to businesses and consumers by broadening the credit base and increasing the turnover threshold for the tax net from INR 1 million at present to INR 2.5 million. The rate hike, in step with the need to align the service tax with the proposed GST rate of 18-20%, would still yield significant additional revenue to the government.

Source: The Financial Express dated 15 February 2016
Jaitley to Manmohan Singh: Is the Congress position on GST "Constitutional cap" not motivated by real politics?
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the central government is expected to be non-partisan, render constructive advice and, at times, send a powerful message even to their own political party to act in the broader national interest. He said that he has consistently held Manmohan Singh in high respect and that he expected the same from the latter.

Source: Business Standard dated 13 February 2016

Venkaiah Naidu hopeful of passing Bills on realty regulator, GST in Budget session
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that he is confident that Bills pertaining to the formation of a realty regulator and the much-awaited indirect taxation reform, GST, will be passed in the upcoming Budget session and hoped that Congress will cooperate in ensuring the functioning of Parliament.

Source: The Economic Times dated 12 February 2016

Budget 2016: Government may end excise exemptions for some grocery items in preparation for GST
Your monthly grocery bill could rise after the Budget as the government is considering the elimination of excise duty exemptions for some items and moving up the lowest rate currently applied on many goods to set the stage for GST.

Source: The Economic Times dated 10 February 2016

Did you know?
Currently out of the 29 States in India, only Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has the power to tax both goods and services while the other States of India only have the power to tax goods. J&K is also proposed to be brought under the GST regime.
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