Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled his third successive Union Budget 2016-17 today. The main thrust of the indirect tax proposals seems to be around ‘Make in India’ and ‘Ease of doing business’ including reduction in litigation, simplification in tax administration and tax compliances. While in the last Budget there was significant emphasis given to the GST reform, there was no discussion on the status and progress of GST in the current Budget.
The single biggest change is the levy of Krishi Kalyan Cess at the rate of 0.5% with effect from 1 June 2016. This will effectively increase the service tax rate to 15% from 14.5%.