Indian Imports to Attract GST from Next Year

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Oct. 9 – Imports into India will attract goods and services tax (GST) under the new tax regime to be ushered in from next year.

The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers has endorsed in principle the levy of GST on imports and mandated a Joint Working Group to prepare a report in four weeks on the structural changes necessary to be adopted for this purpose. The current thinking is to have a system where the basic customs duty will continue to be levied by the center on goods imported.

“The Empowered Committee endorsed some of the decisions relating to the preparation of GST,” Dr. Asim Dasgupta, chairman of the committee, told The Hindu Business Line . A draft of the discussion paper has been circulated to the state governments so that interaction with the trade, industry and others concerned can start immediately, Dasgupta said.

The existing joint working group, comprising officials of central and state governments, has been mandated to prepare within four weeks a report on the constitutional amendments necessary for the GST, the changes required for levy of GST on imports, a draft legislation for central GST, a draft for common legislation for state GST besides a draft for rules and procedures that may be required to administer the GST.

For inter-State transactions, the committee is now looking at a system of integrated goods and services tax (IGST). January 2010 has been set as the target date for completing the preparations for IT infrastructure. The working group report on service tax has now been accepted.

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Indian Goods and Services Tax Regime to be in Place by 2010