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PM Modi takes stock of GST readiness, steps to check black money

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-05-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took stock of the steps taken by the finance ministry for a smooth rollout of goods and services tax (GST) and anti-black money drive post note ban, among others.

Various issues including preparedness for GST—billed as the biggest tax reform since Independence— were discussed during the meeting with the revenue department, people aware of the meeting said.

Also Read: GST council’s sub-panel to fix tax rates of goods, services by weekend

The government intends to implement the GST from 1 July. According to official sources, finance minister Arun Jaitley, along with revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia and other senior revenue officials, were present. It is understood that the meeting also discussed disclosures made in the tax amnesty scheme announced after the junking of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in November last year. It also reviewed progress made in the anti-black money drive, called Operation Clean Money, and the tax amnesty scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

Also Read: GST implementation: Top-level vacancies in CBEC

The revenue department is also believed to have given a report card on not just the black money disclosed and tax collected thereof, but the ill-gotten wealth seized during searches and raids across the country. Given the focus of the government on black money, it is believed that measures being planned by the tax department against tax evaders also came up during the meet. Tax, penalty and surcharge collected via the tax amnesty scheme floated after demonetisation aggregated Rs2,300 crore.

The scheme, PMGKY, provided for payment of 50% tax and penalty on unaccounted cash deposited in bank accounts. Under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS)— the first domestic black money disclosure programme last year—Rs12,700 crore tax have been collected.

As for GST, the GST Council, headed by Jaitley and comprising his state counterparts, has held 13 meetings and decided on the four-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28%. The crucial fitment of goods and services in the tax brackets is yet to be decided. The council will meet on 18-19 May and work out on the fitment part.

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