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GST draft to be finalised in a month: Fin Min
Dec '15
The Union Finance Ministry has quashed reports of draft model law on goods and services tax (GST) being in the public domain and said the draft law will be finalised within a month and put up for comments and suggestions from the trade and industry community.

“It is going to take at least another month by which we will be able to finalise the draft law and once that is done we will be putting it up in the public domain and similar process of consultation and regional conferences for interaction with trade and industry will be done, so that we are able to get your comments on the draft law,” said Rashmi Verma, Special Secretary, Department of Revenue while inaugurating Assocham's 53rd national conference on GST.

“There was talk about draft model law being there in the public domain, but let me clarify the draft model law which has been put up by somebody on the public domain is not the official draft law. In fact, we are still working on it,” she said.

She said that the Finance Minintry has also finalised core business processes on the basis of recommendations of the several committees set up by the Empowered Committee and the ministry has received number of valuable comments from the industry.

“We have set up a committee which is looking at each of your suggestions and this sub-committee which consists of some of the state government officers, CBEC officers will be giving their recommendations to the main committee which will be chaired by me and member secretary of the Empowered Committee and we will look at each recommendation made by this sub-committee on the business processes and take a view whether we need to make any changes in these business processes based on your feedback,” said Verma.

“Whatever changes are made with that, we will again be making public the revised draft of business processes which will be open for discussion with the trade and industry. We have to come up with the law and business processes which will be trade-friendly and much simpler than the existing ones, with that in mind we are working towards finalising the business processes and the draft law,” she said.

Talking about the preparedness of the government vis-à-vis roll out of GST in 2016, Verma said, “We are fully geared towards rolling out of GST in 2016, our IT infrastructure is going to be in place, we have selected the agency, we have finalised the draft business laws which have been approved by the Empowered Committee, we are in the process of finalising the draft law which will be soon put in the public domain and all other administrative measures which have to be taken have already been taken by the government.”

In his address at the same Assocham conference, Najib Shah, Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said that trade and industry need to understand that in the GST regime, exemption may not be the way to go forward.

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