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PM Modi to review GST groundwork before final roll out on July 1

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on June 6 take stock of the readiness of the country for the roll out of goods and services tax on July 1. “It will be a review of the state of preparedness,” a government official privy to the matter said.

The Centre is in no mood to postpone the scheduled implementation and is making all efforts to ensure that the switchover to GST remains as smooth as possible for both industry as well as consumers. The GST Council has favoured implementation of the new tax system from July 1, but a section of industry and some states such as the West Bengal have demanded that it be postponed to September.

Some industrial segments are unhappy with the rates and have approached the government seeking changes. Goods and Services Tax (GST) seeks to replace multiple central taxes such as excise duty, countervailing duty, cesses and state taxes including value­added tax, octroi, purchase tax and luxury tax with a single levy.

The GST Council has decided upon a four­slab structure for both goods and services, with the rates being 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Luxury and sin goods such as tobacco face an extra cess. West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, who did not attend the last council meeting in Srinagar, on Tuesday raised issues with rate structure.

Meanwhile, most of the groundwork regarding the crucial tax reform seems on track with the crucial GST already getting approval of Parliament and a number of state assemblies.

The GST Council has cleared rates for most goods and services, as also the rules. It will on June 3 take up rates of six items, including gold and packaged food items, leather footwear, as well as the rules dealing with transition and returns.

Separately, a detailed review would be held by the finance ministry on the readiness of the IT systems of the Centre and states to migrate to the new tax system. Some states have chosen to build their own framework and then link it with the GST Network.

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