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arun-jaitley-pti-LIndia Inc seemed elated at the draft Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, released on Tuesday after the first day of the meeting of the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers.

“This is indeed a step forward in implementation of the much-awaited GST, and will encourage industry to think that GST may become a reality after the coming monsoon session (of parliament),” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

After the first day of the state finance ministers held in Kolkata, which was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the government released the draft GST law.

The government failed to keep up the deadline of implementing GST from April 1, 2016, as it did not get enough support in the Rajya Sabha where it is in minority. It now plans to implement GST from April 1, 2017 hoping for the passage of the bill in the upcoming monsoon session.

“We look forward to the positive movement and with these initiatives, it is expected that implementation of GST with effect from April 1, 2017 will become a reality,” Banerjee said.

“The Model GST in its current form has provided for elaborate mechanism for availment and utilisation of input tax credit, which is a crucial for effective implementation of GST,” said Mahesh Jaising, partner, BMR and Associates LLP.

“Now, all eyes are on the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Parliament and one is hopeful that the critical and awaited GST Constitutional Amendment Bill is indeed passed, paving the way for implementation of the GST regime in India in April 2017.”

The GST, India’s most significant tax reform in decades, will lead to a simplified indirect tax administration system. Once implemented, it will subsume most of the country’s central and state level duties and taxes.

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