In a joint affair, all the state finance ministers confirmed that they are working upon enforcing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July as per the product wise levies concluded in the meeting in Srinagar last week.

The various suggestions clouded the topic after the West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra quoted that most of the businesses aren’t ready to take up the transition and this could be of great impact on state finances and the economy. Mitra did not advocate a date but a combined suggestion across some quarters was to keep the launch date late in the year around September.

At present, if the Constitution amendment provides a one-year window the outer limit for imposing the act is mid-September.

“Now it’s only a question of details. We are working towards the July 1 deadline. Most of the issues have been sorted out but we need to ensure that the exercise is revenue-neutral (which will not impact consumers),” said Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac. He advocated minimum 5% of levy on Gold.

“Gold is a luxury, not a necessity. In the last one decade, the price has quadrupled and nobody had any problem. So what is the big trouble with a 5% tax,” he added.

There is a split between the states over the levy on the yellow metal as Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra has their own say.

Deputy CM, Delhi, Mr. Manosh Sisodia was also seen in favor of launching the act from July. He said that AAP government supports the early rollout. However, he pointed out that the definition of ‘SERVICES’ in the act appears to be vague and needs a few amendments.

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