No consensus yet on GST, says Mani

There is no consensus yet on eight major areas with regard to the proposed rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 2016, K.M. Mani, Chairman, Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, has said.

The Constitution amendment needed to enable the Centre and the States to collect tax on goods and services was the main hurdle, Mr. Mani said inaugurating a seminar on ‘Service tax and implications of GST’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation here on Monday.

Collection rights

At present, the Centre had no rights to collect tax on goods and the State cannot collect service tax. Mr. Mani said the other areas were tax rate on food products and consumer goods and tax structure on inter-State services such as transport and telecommunication.

There was no clarity yet on the mechanism to be worked for GST collection. An agreement had to be reached on the rate of tax to be given to the States to maintain the present tax revenue and the period, for which tax had to be given to the States which suffered revenue loss, Mr. Mani said.

Items ranging from Cenvat; service tax levied by the Centre; Octroi (a local tax collected on various articles brought into a particular area for consumption); stamp duty; telecom licence fee; electricity charge; Central Excise duty; entertainment and luxury tax; and lottery and gambling would be included in the GST. Consensus was yet to be reached with regard to petroleum products and liquor. The State’s stance was that both should not be included in GST, he added.

Source: The Hindu

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