Amid demands by industry and stakeholders to delay implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government is still looking at July 1 date for rolling out the new indirect tax regime.
"We are looking at July 1 rollout. If any issues crop up, then the GST Council will address them," Jaitley told reporters here after the four GST Bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has already passed the draft legislations.
"We are already in a transition phase. There will be some challenges because we are switching to a new regime. Some relaxation will be given in compliance," he said.
The GST Bills will now require the President's approval.
Jaitley said in the long run, the taxes are likely to decrease because the GST is a more efficient tax system and will prevent tax evasion.
The All India Tax Advocates' Forum (AITAF) has called for deferring GST system by at least a quarter.
"Although the GST is scheduled to be implemented with effect from July 1, the new tax rollout should be delayed by at least a quarter as industry, especially small-time assesees, would require time to prepare themselves to migrate to the new tax regime," AITAF President M.K. Gandhi said in a statement here.
Even after all the four GST Bills have been approved by Parliament, industry would need at least 3-4 months to be GST-ready, especially on the information technology infrastructure front, Gandhi said.
"The proposed July 1 date looks impractical because of the short window of time available to the industry after the GST-related legislations are passed," he said.