GST Roll Out Date Of April 1 Looks Ambitious As Contentious Issues Remain


NEW DELHI: The centre is likely to miss the self-imposed deadline of April 1, 2017 to roll out the Goods and Services Tax even as the GST Council on Thursday talked of reaching a “broad consensus” on the draft central law or the Central GST.

Sources said “four-five” issues were left out as they require more discussions. “These issues have seen differences between the centre and the states and have been put on the back burner. They will now be taken up only in the January meeting of the council,” said a state finance minister who didn’t wish to be identified.

On day one of the two-day meet of state finance ministers chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the council cleared most of 197 clauses of the CGST.

So far, the GST Council has met seven times but the issue of “who will have jurisdiction over different segments of assessees” under the proposed Goods and Services Tax regime continue to divide the centre and the states.

Sources claimed the issue requires more discussion as opinion is divided between states and the centre as to who will tax which set of assesses.

On Friday, the council would take up the contentious issue of empowering the centre and states – also called Cross Empowerment – to avoid dual control over assesses in the new indirect tax regime.

Another area of contention is the integrated GST or IGST law that deals with taxing inter-state movement of goods and services. Right now, the model law doesn’t provide for an important role for the states in enforcing it.

“The issue of inter-state GST involves states. How can we be left out?” asked Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and added, “we can’t predict anything at this stage about the deadline.”

Parliament amended the constitution of introduction of GST but there has been no consensus on these issues in the earlier meetings of the council.

The subsequent GST bills – CGST, IGST and compensation law – could not be introduced in the winter session of parliament and now it threatens to give the April 1, 2017 deadline a miss. But the constitutional amendment makes it mandatory to have the new indirect tax regime by September 16, 2017.

“One doesn’t have the luxury of time. If one doesn’t implement in April 1, you only have five more months. The sooner we implement, the better,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had asserted last Saturday while addressing the annual general meeting of industry body, FICCI.


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