Haryana is fully geared up for ushering in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu said today after the Haryana Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 was passed unanimously by the state Assembly in a special one-day session here.
“Be it creating the much needed IT infrastructure, meeting network requirements and training staff at different levels for a successful roll-out, the state is all done and ready. So much so, necessary integration with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has also been completed and tested,” he said here.
Haryana became the eighth state to pass the legislation as the Centre gears up to roll out the new indirect tax regime nationwide from July.
Abhimanyu said efforts were being made for implementation of GST in the country for the last 10-12 years.
“The previous UPA government at the Centre also worked for its implementation. With implementation of GST, Haryana is expected to earn Rs 7,300 crore as service tax.
“Implementation of GST at the Centre as well as in states and Union Territories posed a big challenge, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made this possible,” he told the Assembly.
The BJP leader also complemented the efforts made by the opposition and the cooperation and assistance extended by them.
The state Finance Minister said the GST Council held 13 meetings and the 14th meeting was scheduled to be held on May 18 and 19 in Srinagar.
“The rights of states and the Centre have been conferred on the GST Council. Both states and the Centre had sovereign power to impose taxes but now it has been handed over to the Council,” he said.
Abhimanyu assured the House that the state had raised the issue of protection of revenue wherein a growth of 14 per cent has been shown for five years, taking 2015-16 as the base year.
“In case of any loss of revenue, the Centre would compensate the state for five years,” he said.
Abhimanyu said a fitment committee had been constituted which would conduct item-wise study to ensure that the prices of daily use items do not go up.
Haryana was the first state to propose an Anti-Profiteering Committee in the GST Council so that the benefits are not confined to traders or dealers but also go to consumers.
“A commission or body would work under the Council and action would be initiated in case of any violation,” the minister said.
He said that if any tax ordered to be refunded to any applicant was not refunded within 60 days, interest at the rate of six per cent would be payable in respect of such refund from the date immediately after the expiry of 60 days from the receipt of application, till the date of refund.
Meanwhile, Abhimanyu, who also holds the Excise and Taxation portfolios, told reporters that being a ‘Model A’ state, Haryana was engaged in developing its own application for backend processes and host them.
States for which GSTN will develop applications for backend processes are called ‘Model B’ states.
So far, all Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) released by GSTN have been successfully tested. The SRS (Software Requirements Specifications) for core backend applications, namely registration and payments, have been prepared and the development is in progress.
Referring to the training of staff, Abhimanyu said Master Trainers for GST portal system had been trained at a training camp held in Chennai in February, 2017.
Besides, dealers and tax payers have also been sensitised for migration to GST, he said.
An awareness campaign has been launched through radio, television and newspapers, and helpdesks set up in the head office as well as all field offices, the minister said.
“The deputy excise and taxation commissioners (Sales Tax) of all districts are creating awareness by interacting with different manufacturing and trade associations as well as tax bar associations,” he said.
Meanwhile, an official release said the proposed GST regime not only makes an attempt to cater to the requirements of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), but also provides certain facilities to enable them to come on board.
“The steep hike in the exemption limit will take many out of the ambit of the GST structure,” it said.
Proposed to be rolled out on July 1, 2017, GST will spur economic growth across all segments, cut down compliance costs of taxpayers and subside the cascading effects to a great extent.
The threshold limit under the GST system, increased significantly to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 5 lakh prevalent in most of the states under Value Added Tax (VAT), exempts many MSMEs from the ambit of GST tax.
“It will save and protect them from the rigours of complying with the GST system,” the release added.