It is a destination based tax on consumption of goods and services. It is proposed to be levied at all stages right from manufacture up to final consumption with credit of taxes paid at previous stages available as setoff. In a nutshell, only value addition will be taxed and burden of tax is to be borne by the final consumer.
The GST would replace the following taxes: (i) taxes currently levied and collected by the Centre: Central Excise duty Duties of Excise (Medicinal and Toilet Preparations) Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Additional Duties of Excise (Textiles and Textile Products) Additional Duties of Customs(commonly known as CVD) Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD) Service Tax Central Surcharges and Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services (ii) State taxes that would be subsumed under the GST are: State VAT Central Sales Tax Luxury Tax Entry Tax (all forms) Entertainment and Amusement Tax (except when levied by the local bodies) Taxes on advertisements Taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling State Surcharges and Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services The GST Council shall make recommendations to the Union and States on the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Centre, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed in the GST.
The various Central, State and Local levies were examined to identify their possibility of being subsumed under GST. While identifying, the following principles were kept in mind: (i) Taxes or levies to be subsumed should be primarily in the nature of indirect taxes, either on the supply of goods or on the supply of services. (ii) Taxes or levies to be subsumed should be part of the transaction chain which commences with import/ manufacture/ production of goods or provision of services at one end and the consumption of goods and services at the other. (iii) The subsumation should result in free flow of tax credit in intra and inter-State levels. The taxes, levies and fees that are not specifically related to supply of goods & services should not be subsumed under GST. (iv) Revenue fairness for both the Union and the States individually would need to be attempted.
It would be a dual GST with the Centre and States simultaneously levying it on a common tax base. The GST to be levied by the Centre on intra-State supply of goods and / or services would be called the Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States would be called the State GST (SGST). Similarly Integrated GST (IGST) will be levied and administered by Centre on every inter-state supply of goods and services.
India is a federal country where both the Centre and the States have been assigned the powers to levy and collect taxes through appropriate legislation. Both the levels of Government have distinct responsibilities to perform according to the division of powers prescribed in the Constitution for which they need to raise resources. A dual GST will, therefore, be in keeping with the Constitutional requirement of fiscal federalism.