There are several specific proposals in the Budget 2015-16 to recalibrate India’s tax effort so that fiscal consolidation may be achieved in the short and medium term. The game-changing and revenue significant proposals include: Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile (JAM) – to implement direct benefit transfer. “GST will put in place a state-of-the-art indirect tax system by April 1, 2016. The JAM Trinity will allow us to transfer benefits in a leakage-proof, well-targeted and cashless manner,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the budget speech on February 28.
In preparation for the introduction of the GST, the Government has been taking consistent policy steps to expand the scope and reach of service tax. The shift is monumental in terms of changes in the mode of implementation and will undoubtedly require a transition phase.