GST’s Implementation Schedule Facing Challenge

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It seems that policy makers are finding it tough to find a common ground on the issue of dual control or cross empowerment that deals with assessee jurisdiction. On such scenario, Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council’s 7th meeting that came to an end. Such unwanted conclusion of the meeting raised major concerns and apprehensions about GST’s April 1 implementation dateline however, The Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley told that he is trying his best to get GST roll out as per the schedule. 

NEW DELHI: “I am trying my best (on deadline of April 1). I don’t want to hasten the process of discussion and don’t want to delay the implementation,” Jaitley said at a press briefing after the Council meet ended.

The Finance Minister however said: “There was no issue raised on dual control today as we were working on legislations.”

Jaitley said that the two principle issues that still remain before the Council are Integrated GST (iGST) and cross empowerment.

“In iGST, definition of territory of states is pending. And the division of authority between assessing authorities of Centre and states is pending. The two issues will be taken up together at the next meeting on January 3-4.

“The recommendation of GST rates committee will also be placed before the Council at the next meeting,” he said.

The drafts of Central GST (cGST) and the compensation law were approved mostly in the Council meeting on Friday with the only portions relating to dual control being left out, he added.

“The primary draft of the cGST and sGST law has been approved. These two laws will be mirror image of each other. There were some portions that were left out. Only those blanks are there which deal with dual control and cross empowerment,” Jaitley said.

The legally vetted copy of the cGST and compensation law will brought before the Council in its next meeting, he said.

The three GST bills – Central GST (cGST), Integrated GST and State Compensation Law – need to be approved by the Council before they can be tabled in the Parliament.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who is part of the GST Council, told reporters that the “big issues are still to be resolved”.

The iGST issue has not been discussed on Friday, he said.

“Second issue is dual control. The states are very clear with the unanimous decision of the empowered committee that small traders with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore turnover cannot have dual assessment,” he added.

Mitra said that post-demonetisation, the states feel that they will need more compensation than mentioned in the GST draft bills.

“Many issues on compensation need to be resolved. Earlier the parameters on compensation were different, there was no demonetisaion. Now in new environment, many states feel they will need compensation. They feel 30-40 per cent revenue will be affected in the third quarter.”

But Jaitley, during the press briefing, clarified that the compensation in GST is only for loss of revenues due to GST implementation, but asked how was it related to this.

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