Holding out that Goods and Service Tax (GST) would boost the investment and business confidence of trade and industry, a tax advocates’ forum has urged Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to introduce it expeditiously.

In a statement, the All India Tax Advocates Forum (AITAF) has urged Mr. Jaitley to take necessary steps to further accelerate ongoing exercise for introduction of the long-awaited tax reform.

“In the face of ongoing slowdown in the economy, the country is in dire need of injection of pro-reform measures to stimulate economic growth. Introduction of GST will no doubt boost the investment and business confidence of trade and industry,” AITAF president M.K. Gandhi said.

“The proposed GST will help in building an integrated national market for goods and services by replacing plethora of indirect taxes levied by the Centre and States with a single levy,” he said, adding that GST seeks to subsume indirect taxes at the Central level like Excise Duty and Service Tax and State-level taxes like Value Added Tax (VAT) and the local levies like Octroi.

The GST roll out was first scheduled for April 1, 2010, but the exercise was postponed by a year as the Centre and States failed to reach a consensus on the Constitution Amendment Bill (CAB), which is needed for putting in place the new tax regime.

After introducing the CAB in the Budget session of Parliament in 2011, the then Congress-led UPA government was hoping to implement the GST from April 1, 2012. But the Centre once again failed to stick to the new deadline set for the GST. Thus the process of introduction of GST got pushed into the background.

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