India Approves Creation of Panel to Firm Up Sales Tax Detail

  • GST Council to hold its first meeting on Sept. 22, 23
  • Will determine details of the GST including rates, exemptions

India’s cabinet approved the creation of a panel to determine details of a new national sales tax, which would transform the $2 trillion economy into one of the world’s largest single markets.

The so-called GST Council will be headed by the federal finance minister and include a nominee from each of India’s 29 states, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told reporters in New Delhi on Monday. They’d need to agree on issues such as the rate of the goods and services tax as well as any exemptions within the next two months, to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi clear at least one more related bill through parliament by the end of 2016 and meet his goal of implementing the levy in the fiscal year starting April 1.

The target is stiff, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said last week. The reform is one of the biggest since India opened up to foreign investment in 1991 and stands to boost the world’s fastest-growing economy by as much as 2 percentage points.

"The first meeting of the GST Council will be held on Sept. 22 and 23," Adhia said. "We are happy that we are running ahead of the time schedule so far."

For a road map on the GST implementation, click here

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