GST Council meets today, action packed days ahead

The all-powerful Council discussed the GST legislation to be adopted by Union Territories.

The model Goods and Services Tax Bill will replace the clause which states the tax rate "not exceeding 14 percent, with "not exceeding 20 percent" when it comes up for debate in Parliament during the second phase of Budget session beginning next week".

"It is important for the government to realise that benefits of GST will only accrue if rates are mode rate and tax base is enhanced. Today, laws were put for discussion, GST council approved the laws".

GST will have a 4-slab structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. "Once implemented, this will enable cross-empowerment of states and the Center", said Amit Mitra while applauding the decision taken by the Cabinet.

Revealing the final date of Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the Bill is on track and it will be implemented by July 1.

"'The compensation, IGST and CGST laws have now received the formal nod of the council", said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who heads the Council. Officials said this "14%" will now be changed to say the rate will not exceed "20%". Under the present service tax law, service providers have the option to obtain a single centralised registration for paying service tax (which is levied and collected by the Central government only).

Last month the Council cleared the draft compensation law, according to which the Centre will have to fully compensate states for any revenue loss for five years after migrating to the new tax system.

"The legal committee will finalise the SGST and UTGST bills in the next three days and circulate it to the state assemblies for approval", said Jaitley.

The meeting of GST Council is underway in New Delhi to finalise supplementary legislations headed for Parliament which resumes next week, so that the new regime is rolled out from 1st of July. This way, there won't be any need to seek Parliament's approval in case there is a need to increase levy on specific goods and services. The UT-GST will also go to Parliament for approval.

  • Patricia Jimenez