Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday announced that the official launch of the Goods and Services Tax would take place at midnight on June 30 as planned, while speaking at a function in New Delhi, reported ANI. At the press conference, Jaitley said that the country did not have the “luxury of time” to defer implementation of GST, and hence the GST council had decided to implement it from July 1.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India on Saturday had asked the Finance Ministry to postpone the implementation of the GST, just two days after the Civil Aviation Ministry asked for a postponement to September 1.

However, the government provided some relief to businesses for the first two months after the rollout. As per the revised return filing timeline decided by the GST Council, for July, the sale returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10. The returns for August can be filed by September 20 instead of September 10, Jaitley announced. But there will be no concession in the months thereafter.

Jaitley on Sunday said that state-run lotteries would be taxed at 12% of their face value, whereas private lotteries would be taxed at 28%. For hotel rooms costing between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500 per day, an 18% GST will be applicable. GST on restaurants in these hotels will be on a par with other air-conditioned restaurants. For hotel rooms costlier than Rs 7,500, a tax of 28% will be levied.

A week ago, the GST Council had reduced tax rates for 66 items including movie tickets costing Rs 100 and below, incense sticks, insulin, school bags and computer printers.

The GST will introduce a single tax on supply of goods and services. The four tax slabs fixed by the Council are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.