Centre-state consensus raises hope for GST implementation

Overall, this is a welcome and positive development for the GST road map though there is still a lack of clarity as to when the actual implementation may happen. Reports suggest that the Constitution Amendment Bill with these changes is expected to be presented in the Parliament during the Budget session, which would definitely be a big first step. There is lot of ground work that would be needed from the Centre and states on drafting of laws, rules and their passage in Parliament and state Assemblies, so a timeline for implementation is difficult to predict at this stage. A fair expectation is that this government may have cleared the decks for GST implementation after the 2014 elections. We will see the rollout of GST in the near future, albeit not an ideal one, considering our federal polity.

The author is partner & national leader, indirect tax, Ernst & Young. Views expressed are personal

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