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Govt signals GST may be implemented from 1 April 2017
The government on 1 March 2016 signalled that the GST will be implemented from 1 April 2017 even if the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST gets cleared in this session of Parliament. “Ideally, we should have GST from the beginning of a fiscal. Once the Constitution Amendment Bill gets passed in Parliament, we need about five-six months of preparation (to roll out GST). Businesses also need to time to prepare and traders need to be explained the working of GST,” said Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

Source: Livemint dated 2 March 2016

Computerisation of commercial tax departments completed: GSTN
Computerisation of commercial tax departments in all states has been completed for developing a technology platform for the proposed GST but the entire project is yet to be completed, an official said on 2 March 2016.

Source: Business Standard dated 2 March 2016

Budget 2016: Jayant Sinha expects GST Bill passage in H2 of session
Speaking about the Union Budget 2016 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 29 February, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said the thrust to the rural economy is because of the two consecutive draught years and not because of the upcoming state elections. On the topic of 'bad bank', he said that his government has never said anything about it. "We have in fact always said we will have a stressed asset fund than a bad bank," Sinha clarified. He also feels the GST Bill and Bankruptcy Bill will be passed in the second half of the Budget session.

Source: Moneycontrol dated 1 March 2016

Will reach out to Congress over GST Bill: Arun Jaitley
"As far as GST is concerned, every political party claims to be in favour of it. The Congress party had put some conditions. I think one condition still remains there. I will try to talk to them in the remaining of the Budget session of Parliament and try to move ahead with the GST Bill", Jaitley said in
post-Budget hackathon.

Source: The Economic Times dated 1 March 2016

Chief Economic Adviser virtually endorsed our view on GST: P Chidambaram
"We have pointed out three flaws in the Bill. The Chief Economic Adviser has virtually endorsed us - not in so many words - virtually endorsed us when he said that 1 percent was retrograde and the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, he did not comment on it, his silence itself is a comment and he agreed that 16 percent or so is sufficient for a revenue neutral rate."

Source: The Economic Times dated 29 February 2016

Key procedural changes in service tax and excise
Expressing disappointment over the delay in the passage of GST Bill, the Economic Survey said the roll out of GST will usher in an "unprecedented reform" in modern global tax history.

Source: Business Standard dated 26 February 2016

Did you know? 
The Economic Survey 15-16 stated three major points on GST
  • A move to GST would eliminate tax leakages due to rationalisation of indirect tax exemptions estimated to cost of INR 3.3 trillion;
  • GST would affect potentially 2-2.5 million excise and service taxpayers; and
  • GST is an unprecedented reform in modern global tax history.
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