Maharashtra and the country's commercial capital Mumbai readied on Friday to embrace the transition to India's new taxation regime - the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - amid apprehensions and anticipation among both the business community and tax payers.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar have held a series of meetings with the various stakeholders and passed the Maharashtra Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017 in a special session of the Maharashtra Legislature last month.
Later, it set the process into motion by training 10, 000 Finance Department staffers for work related to implementing the GST rollout from July 1 in the state which contributes the highest to the national exchequer in the form of various taxes.
At least seven important state taxes - VAT, Entertainment Tax, Central Sales Tax, Luxury Tax, Sugar Purchase Tax, Tax on Lotteries and Octroi (Mumbai) - will now give way to GST.
Besides, the state has a share in some central taxes, levies or duties like Central Excise, Special Additional Duty on Customs, Additional Excise Duty, Service Tax, Surcharges and Cess, which will die out on Friday night.
The favourite activity of Mumbaikars - eating out - is likely to get a hit as GST on various aspects of the hotels and restaurants business come under the GST ambit.
To avoid confusion with revellers as the long weekend starts with the changeover to GST, the hotel trade will down shutters by 11 p. m. on Friday, compared to 1. 30 a. m. normally, as per announcement by various hotel industry associations.
Octroi, the biggest revenue earner for the country's richest civic body, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), will be a major game - changer, viewed with apprehension in many quarters.
Five Octroi collection posts - Mankhurd, Mulund, Dahisar, Airoli and Mulund - will shut shop on Friday night and there will be no vehicle snarls on account of the octroi at these Mumbai entry points, though road toll tax continues.
Elsewhere in the state, the Local Body Tax, which had earlier replaced Octroi, will now make way for GST and the one country - one tax regime.
The industry and corporates have been vigorous in creating awareness among their members and other stakeholders by holding meetings, seminars, panel discussions, roping in expert advice from economists, taxation masters, serving or retired civil servants, etc, since the past few weeks to 'welcome' GST.
Meetings were held by the Indian Merchants Chambers (IMC), Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry & Trade (CAMIT), besides individual trade associations and bodies across sectors, and the ever - crucial chartered accountants to enable the new system of filing returns under GST.