Jaitley announces GST roll-out on June 30 midnight; rates fixed for hotels, lottery

Hotel rooms costing Rs 2500-Rs 7500 will be taxed at 18% while those above Rs 7500 will attract levy of 28%, the government said on Sunday, finalising June 30 midnight for a countrywide roll out of the Goods and Servcies Tax (GST).

“GST on restaurants in these hotels will be at par with other air-conditioned restaurants, that is 18%,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said after a meeting of the GST council in Delhi.
Jaitley said companies will be allowed to file late returns for the first two months so that they can adapt to a new online filing system.
The GST will require firms to file three online returns each month. Some business lobby groups have urged a delay to the rollout to allow more time to get ready.
More than 6.5 million businesses have already signed up for the GST, Jaitley said, more than four-fifths of those already registered to pay India’s old business taxes.

The council also agreed on anti-profiteering guidelines intended to prevent traders exploiting the reform to ramp up prices.
The GST Council will meet again on June 30, the eve of the launch, Jaitley said.
The council fixed the tax of state-run lotteries at 12% and of state authorised lotteries at 28%.
“The official launch of the GST will take place on the midnight of June 30 and July 1 at a function in Delhi,” Jaitley added.
Hailed as the the country’s biggest tax reform since Independence, GST will unify Asia’s third largest economy into a common market, eliminating a string of central and state levies.
The Narendra Modi government is keen to ensure a seamless transition to GST, which is expected to shore up state and federal tax revenues, cool inflation and accelerate economic growth by 1-2 percentage points in the medium term.
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