The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is likely to be taken up in the winter session of Parliament after it is fine-tuned by the Finance Ministry following recommendations from the Standing Committee, Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said on Wednesday.
“The Standing Committee on Finance has made certain recommendations. We received them on August 7. We are processing it,” Mr Seelam said.
“Shortly we will incorporate whatever suggestions and try to push it and see that the Bill is passed in winter session. That’s our attempt. We are trying.”
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI).
He said currently some sub-groups are looking into various recommendations by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The GST Bill, introduced in Parliament in 2010, is being fine-tuned by the Finance Ministry after which states and the Centre would together finalise the draft and bring it back to Parliament.
The proposed GST is aimed at bringing in a common tax regime for goods and services by subsuming most indirect taxes. It is also expected that GST will help increase revenue collections.
The GST rollout has missed several deadlines due to differences between the states and the Centre over contentious issue of central sales tax, compensation to states and design of GST structure.
When asked about the changes that are being made in the original draft, Seelam refused to share details. In reply to a query, the minister also said the government has no intention to ask various temples to sell gold.
“I cannot speak on that issue without proper information. Situation is improving. No need to sell or borrow the gold (of temples). RBI and Finance Ministry have explained this. As of now, there is nothing to worry,” he said.
On tax collections, he said, “Normally first quarter figures will be low. It will improve. We are reviewing it. Now the upward trend has started. We will achieve our targets. First quarter is generally low because there will be refunds. Second quarter onwards it will improve,” Mr Seelam said.
On disinvestment issue, he said the government is confident of achieving the target of Rs. 40,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal year.