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Legalese | April 2017

GST is Here, What is in Store

There are many unanswered questions about the impact of GST on the infrastructure sector, given new tax regime's numerous nuances and its position in terms of structure and exemptions, say Krrishan Singhania, Managing Partner, and Ashwin Vasista & Anish Shetty, Associates, Singhania & Company.

All states will implement GST by July 2017. The Constitution Amendment Bill for Goods and Services Tax has been approved by the President of India post its approval in Parliament (Rajya Sabha on August 03, 2016 and Lok Sabha on August 08, 2016) and ratification by more than 50 per cent of state legislatures.

GoI is committed to replace all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Centre and the base will be far reaching, as for all intents and purposes, all merchandise and ventures will be assessable, with least exclusions.

GST will be a change for the economy by creating a pan-Indian market and decreasing the falling impact of duty on the cost of products and ventures. It will affect the expense structure, impose occurrence, charge calculation, assess instalment, consistence and credit usage, prompting a total redesign of the current aberrant duty framework.

GST will have a broad effect on every part of various business operations in the nation, like estimating of items and administrations, store network improvement, income tax, bookkeeping, and expense consistence frameworks.

Benefits of GST
GST has been envisaged as an efficient tax system, neutral in its application and attractive in its impact.

The advantages of GST are:

  • Wider tax base, necessary for lowering tax rates and eliminating classification disputes;
  • Elimination of multiplicity of taxes and their cascading effects;
  • Rationalisation of tax structure and simplification of compliance procedures;
  • Harmonisation of Central and state tax administrations, which would reduce duplication and compliance costs;
  • Automation of compliance procedures to reduce errors and increase efficiency.

Destination principle
The GST structure would follow the destination concept. Accordingly, imports would be subject to GST, while exports would be zero-rated. In the case of inter-state transactions within India, state tax would apply in the state of destination as opposed to that of origin.

Current Scenario
The Indian infrastructure sector largely encompasses power, roads, ports, railways and mining. Although these sub-sectors are often referred to in the same breath when speaking of infrastructure, the indirect tax landscape is varied and unique for each of them.

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