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Pranab bats for GST, key reform bills
President Pranab Mukherjee urged parliamentarians to ensure the early passage of pending key bills aimed at ushering in reforms and taking the country on the path of growth. Mr Mukherjee addressed the nation on the eve of the Republic Day. In his speech, Mukherjee reminded the lawmakers of their “bounden duty” and urged them to ensure the enactment of all “progressive” legislation after due discussion and debate, saying delays in decision-making and implementation would “only harm the process of development.”

Source: Deccan Herald dated 25 January 2016

Government yet to appoint empowered panel head
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is yet to name a chairman for the Empowered Group of State Finance Ministers (ECSFM) on the proposed national GST, even two months after Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani stepped down. This is despite the Union Government making fresh efforts to enable the tax’s rollout, including pushing for the passage of Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha session starting next month.

Source: Business Standard dated 24 January 2016

Jaitley says GST cap cannot be mentioned in Bill
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, at a discussion organised by NDTV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said, "Three new propositions are now raised (by Congress) including a preposterous one that tariff must be mentioned in Constitution of India. Now if they can tell me that anywhere else in the world this happens that tariffs are mentioned in Constitution… So every time there is a drought, flood and you need to increase the tax rate, you have to first go to all states in India to change the tax rate. This is something which is just not possible." Jaitley was also quoted saying, "GST is certainly going to come. I have already conveyed to Congress leaders that I am willing to go to the states for the one percent thing (one percent additional tax). I have privately conveyed that and I have no hesitation in admitting that publicly."

Source: Business Standard dated 21 January 2016

Companies work overtime to put in place GST-compliant IT systems
At a time when the government is pushing hard for GST, companies and their technology vendors are working hard to make their IT systems meet the requirements under
the new indirect tax regime. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - a category of business management software systems of companies will have to be changed with the introduction of GST and for many, say industry trackers, this is the biggest challenge to tackle before its launch.

Source: The Economic Times dated 20 January 2016

Did you know?
The GSTN (development contract of which was bagged by Infosys in September 2015) issued a report on 'GST Ecosystem and GST Suvidha Providers (GSP)' (third party application developers) wherein all probable software developers, application developers, ERP solution providers, app developers, etc. interested in creating digital GST solutions have been addressed. The GSTN has organised a GST ecosystem workshop for all those interested in developing GST solutions as third party application developers. The workshop will be held in Bengaluru on 29 January 2016.
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