Bengaluru, February 27, 2017

Karnataka stands No. 1 in the country in terms of preparedness for the new tax regime of Goods and Services Tax (GST) expected to be rolled out on July 1. Karnataka has seen 96% of its traders enrolling themselves to migrate from the existing Value Added Tax (VAT) system to GST.

The multiple levies, including VAT, service tax, central sales tax (CST), central exci se duty, entry tax, entertainment tax and luxury tax will be subsumed under the unified tax and the traders registered separately under VAT, CST, and service tax have to register afresh under the GST. The GST enrolment started on January 1, 2017 across India with an objective of covering over 86 lakh traders on or before March 15, 2017. Anyone with a business turnover of Rs 20 lakh and beyond will be covered by GST.

In Karnataka, 5,40, 846 out of 5,63,382 traders registered under VAT have enrolled to GST as on February 24. Andhra Pradesh stands second with 92% of its traders getting GST registration. Madhya Pradesh (86.9 %), Gujarat (84.84 %) and Puducherry (79.61 %) are among the other states showing progress in the preparedness for GST.

"Karnataka has always been seen as a progressive state quick in adopting new things. T he state has lived up to its progressive image even in GST," claimed K N Basavaraju, joint commissioner, commercia l tax. Union minister Arun Jaitley was appreciative of the speedy progress as he took stock of the preparedness for the new tax regime during his Bengaluru visit last week. The commercial tax department could achieve the distinction, thanks to the support extended by trade bodies, i ncluding th e Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FKCCI) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI), he said.

"We conducted over 55 workshops for traders across the state. They were receptive to the new idea," said B T Manohar, chairman of FKCCI taxation committee. The service providers have time till March 31 for enrolment.

[The Times of India]