Empowered Group of Ministers on GST to meet again in July

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Fixing the revenue neutral rate and the issue of dual control will be discussed at that meeting.

A meeting on Goods and Services Tax (GST), attended by Finance Ministers of all States and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was held in Kolkata on Tuesday where the States aired their views on the major initiative.

The next meeting, scheduled in July, will deliberate on two procedural issues. “At the next meeting, presentations will be made on these two issues,” Mr. Jaitley said after the over three-hour long meeting.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, chairman of the Empowered Group on Ministers, said the two issues were fixing the revenue neutral rate and dual control.

It may be noted that the Trinamool Congress has overcome its opposition to the GST and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has thrown her party’s weight behind the major move.

“GST is the joint effort of the States and the Centre in federal structure,” Mr. Mitra said.

The Centre expects some forward movement in the passage of the long-pending bill with the improvement in the BJP’s strength in the Upper House and with support from parties that had opposed it.

Ten things to know about the GST Bill

1 Officially, the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill 2014.


2 It was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 19, 2014 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.


3 The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution to introduce a goods and services tax (GST) which will subsumes various Central indirect taxes, including the Central Excise Duty, Countervailing Duty, Service Tax, etc. It also subsumes State value added tax (VAT), octroi and entry tax, luxury tax, etc.


4 The Bill inserts a new Article in the Constitution make legislation on the taxation of goods and services a concurrent power of the Centre and the States.


5 The Bill seeks to shift the restriction on States for taxing the sale or purchase of goods to the supply of goods or services.


6 The Bill seeks to establish a GST Council tasked with optimising tax collection for goods and services by the State and Centre. The Council will consist of the Union Finance Minister (as Chairman), the Union Minister of State in charge of revenue or Finance, and the Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other, nominated by each State government.


7 The GST Council will be the body that decides which taxes levied by the Centre, States and local bodies will go into the GST; which goods and services will be subjected to GST; and the basis and the rates at which GST will be applied.


8 Under the Bill, alcoholic liquor for human consumption is exempted from GST. Also, it will be up to the GST Council to decide when GST would be levied on various categories of fuel, including crude oil and petrol.


9 The Centre will levy an additional one per cent tax on the supply of goods in the course of inter-State trade, which will go to the States for two years or till when the GST Council decides.


10 Parliament can decide on compensating States for up to a five-year period if States incur losses by implementation of GST.


Source: prsindia.org

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