GUWAHATI, June 26 - Assam is ready to go into the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as majority of the dealers have already registered themselves under the new regime and the State Government has notified the GST rules. Moreover, the State will not suffer any financial loss due to implementation of the GST regime as any loss occurred during the initial stages of the new regime will be compensated by the Government of India.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that from now on, there will be no new tax proposals in the State�s budget apart from VAT on a few items as under the GST regime, there will be uniform tax structure all over the country. However, petroleum products and alcohol have been excluded from the purview of the GST and the States will have the power to impose VAT on it. If the States need to increase tax on any other item, they have to approach the GST Council for approval.
On the preparations of the State Government to move into the new regime, sources said that majority of the dealers have already registered themselves under the GST and training of the tax officials is complete. The process of training up the drawing and disbursing officers of all the departments is going on and the process is likely to be completed by the end of this month for smooth transition to the GST regime from July 1.
Sources said that there is possibility of minimal decrease in tax collection in the initial period of going into a new system as was the case when the Value Added Tax (VAT) system was introduced. But the State will not suffer any financial loss as the Centre has agreed to compensate for such loss for a period of five years.
The Centre has worked out a formula for compensating the states, which will suffer initial loss due to introduction of the GST. As per the formula, the Centre has taken 2015-16 as the base year and would compensate the states, which do not attain 14 per cent annual tax collection growth. If Assam attains 14 per cent growth after the introduction of the GST, it would not get any additional fund, but if the growth rate is less than 14 per cent, the balance amount will be paid by the Centre.