Mumbai leads entry into new era

Mumbai leads entry into new era

The commercial capital of India, Mumbai, has readied itself to rollout the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime though businessmen and taxpayers still lack clarity.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Finance and Planning Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar held a series of meetings with various stakeholders before the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, was passed in the legislature.

Around 10,000 employees from the Finance Department have already been trained for GST-related work and more staffers are being trained, a source in the secretariat said.

Seven taxes that were being imposed by the state — value added tax, entertainment tax, central sales tax, luxury tax, sugar purchase tax, tax on lotteries and octroi (in Mumbai) — will be replaced by GST.

This would be in addition to the state’s share in some central taxes and duties, including central excise, additional excise duty, service tax, special additional duty on customs, surcharges and cess, which would also be subsumed.

The hoteliers have decided to shut shop early on Friday, when the weekend revelry begins, to ensure that there are no issues post-midnight with customers.

Restaurants and bars, which otherwise close at 1.30 am, especially on Fridays, will down shutters around 11.30 pm.

For Mumbai, where octroi is one of the biggest revenue earner for the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), GST would bring in a significant change.

The five octroi ‘nakas’ - Mumbai-Panvel Highway (Mankhurd), Eastern Express Highway (Mulund East), Western Express Highway (Dahisar), Mulund-Airoli Link Road Naka (Airoli) and Lalbahadur Shashtri Marg Naka (Mulund) would be closed from July 1.

Naka problem

The government, however, is looking at using the octroi nakas or check posts for other purposes. Industry bodies held several meetings and seminars to discuss issues related to GST.

The Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade, an umbrella body for industry associations in Maharashtra along with Shri Kutch Vagad Mitra Mandal and Shri Vagad Visha Oswal Social Group, organised a seminar on GST awareness.

For chartered accountants, several meetings were held to help them learn the new system of filing income tax returns.

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