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  • Even as the GST Council granted approval to all

Are 3 months enough for industry to prepare for GST, ask experts

The finance minister Arun Jaitley-headed GST council on Thursday cleared drafts of the State GST Bill and the UT GST Bill marking a big step forward in India’s plans for a countrywide rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1. The progress made towards rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is encouraging but implementing the new tax regime on July 1 will be difficult as the industry may not have sufficient time to prepare itself, said Sachin Menon Head-Indirect Tax, KPMG. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Menon said the readiness of the SME sector in particular was a worry. "Vendors need to be ready otherwise largescale industries will also suffer," said Menon. "It will be too short a time for the industry for preparation if the states are not passing the GST law latest by second half of April." Pratik Jain, Leader-Indirect Tax at PwC, said that September 1 would be a more realistic date of implementation as clarity on several issues is still required. The GST Council on Thursday approved the two remaining supplementary bills - State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) - meaning that formal approval has now been granted to all five draft laws. Harishankar Subramaniam, Leader-Indirect Tax at EY, said all hurdles for the GST had now been cleared but the "critically important" rules need to be decided soon and made known to the public. MS Mani, Senior Director at Deloitte, said that while Thursday could be considered a landmark day for GST, there will still a worrying lack of clarity on the service sector and service providers. Abhishek Rastogi, Tax Partner at Khaitan & Co, said that while the procedural part is clear, clarity is still awaited on tax credits, rates and valuation.

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