New Delhi: After it has become clear that the goods and services tax (GST) cannot be introduced right at the start of the next fiscal, the finance ministry today indicated that the proposed indirect taxes regime may still be rolled out sometime during 2011-12, reports PTI.
"Unlike DTC (Direct Taxes Code), GST is a transaction-based tax. So for GST, it is not that if we miss the bus on 1 April, 2011 then we have to go to next year, 1st of April. It can come any time," member for excise in Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) S Dutt Majumder said at an Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Assocham) function here.
He said that since Constitution Amendment bill could not be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament for GST roll out, "we have to delay it little bit."
On the other hand, against the original plan, DTC is now scheduled to be delayed by a year and will be introduced only from 1 April, 2012. DTC will replace the archaic Income Tax Act.
As for the GST, Mr Majumder said the original plan was to bring the Amendment bill in the monsoon session of Parliament, after which it would have been referred to the standing committee.
After comments from the Parliamentary panel, the bill could have been placed in the winter session, and once passed in that session, GST legislation could have been tabled in the Budget session.
"That was our idea and so (from) the 1 April, 2011, we should (have been) in a position to do it," he said.
Constitution Amendment bill is required to be passed in Parliament, since currently the Centre cannot impose tax beyond manufacturing and states cannot levy service tax.
The first draft of the Centre on the Constitution Amendment Bill was rejected by the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers, alleging that it gives veto power to the Union finance minister on the state taxation issues.
To allay these fears, the Centre brought revised draft proposing that any decision on GST could be made after there is a full consensus on the GST Council.
BJP-ruled states found fault in the revised draft as well and wanted one month more to study it.
Meanwhile, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the Centre would bring third draft as well.
The Empowered Committee is now expected to meet on 20th September to discuss the issue.
Mr Majumder said," We have given a revised draft to the Empowered Committee. Once we get comment from state finance ministers by 20th of this month, we will look into them."
GST was originally scheduled to be introduced from the beginning of this fiscal, but could not be rolled out because of differences between the Centre and states over its structure.