Centre to issue advisory against service charge on food bills

Secretary Adhia answers a question during a news conference in New Delhi

President Mukherjee clears all four GST bills

The companies working in the renewable sector of India are facing a fix as the slab of the tax may come under the regime of GST (Goods and Service Tax).

"One of the objective (of GST) is to widen the tax net and it will happen once GST comes into force from July", Adhia told reporters here.

India's most ambitious tax reform since independence would transform its $2 trillion economy and market of 1.3 billion people into a single economic zone with common indirect taxes - something that neither the European Union nor the United States can boast.

"The entire parallel economy will vanish", Adhia told Reuters in an interview.

A number of senior government officials and members of the trading community, besides tax professionals, participated in the conference. "That is why we expect revenue buoyancy to go up".

GST, which will subsume as many as 12 different indirect taxes of central excise duty, central sales tax and service tax are to be merged with CGST, while SGST will subsume state sales tax, VAT, luxury tax and entertainment tax. This would "take some time".

Others point out that the GST will be serviced by state-of-the-art technology and an electronic portal where taxpayers can register, eliminating the conventional and discretionary role of tax authorities. Parliament passed laws to implement the GST in the session now ending. The minister had said there was no provision under the existing law to take action against hotels/restaurants.

"It is expected that GST will reduce the prices of goods and services".

"Wherever the services at present attract lower than 15 percent rate of service tax because of certain reasons, we will try to maintain that".

By making distribution more efficient and less expensive, Ankur Bisen at New Delhi based consultancy, Technopak, sees big benefits for consumer-oriented businesses, which have to move goods across state lines in the vast country. "Every year, the Council will meet and revise rates", he said. "And that they will".

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