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Goods and Services Tax by Mr. Abhishek A. Rastogi, Senior Partner, Khaitan & Co.

On 18th April, 2017, the fourth year students attended an enriching session on Goods and Services Tax (GST) conducted by Mr. Abhishek A. Rastogi, Senior Partner at Khaitan & Co. Mr. Rastogi is a qualified Charted Accountant and a renowned lawyer practicing in Indirect Taxation matters. In the two hours session, Mr. Rastogi gave a detailed insight into the constitutionality and legal viability of the GST regime.

The session began with a general discussion about the GST regime, its characteristics, nature of the tax, taxable events, etc. The guest ensured to keep the session lively and interactive by readily inviting the students’ opinions and understanding of the subject matter. The students were also given an overview on various concepts under the GST such as ‘anti-profiteering’, ‘zero rated tax’, etc. The difference between deceptively similar terms: 'Exempted' and 'Zero rated' goods and services was also pointed out. Concepts of Tax Credit Pool and Tax Credit Chain were also discussed. Section 4A of the Central Excise Act, 1944 was also discussed.

Additionally, Mr. Rastogi addressed the peculiarities of GST by addressing some fundamental ambiguities under the GST Bill. The students were challenged to find legally reasonable answers to the following; (i) Whether Article 366 (29A) ought to be amended in light of the Schedule to the Central GST legislation? (ii) Whether the Composite Scheme under the GST is ultra vires the Constitution to the extent of the unavailability of the benefit therein to other service providers? Mr. Rastogi assured an internship opportunity to the student who is able to answer the abovementioned questions logically with appropriate legal reasoning. Thus, the session ended on a high note leaving the students motivated to analyze the GST Law in order to reason the ambiguities highlighted by the guest.

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