State FMs to meet on Sept 15 to finalise model GST legislations


The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers will meet on Tuesday to finalise the model legislations that have to be approved by state legislatures for rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Although hopes have dimmed for GST to roll out from the proposed April 1, 2016 with the Centre dropping the idea of convening a special session, the Empowered Committee will continue with its preparatory work.
“The September 15 meeting of the Empowered Committee will discuss the model draft legislations that will be needed for implementing GST,” an official said.

The panel is headed by Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani.

The two legislations — Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) — will have to be approved by respective state legislatures for a nation-wide rollout of the single rate GST. Besides, another legislation — integrated GST (iGST) — would also have to be adopted by the states.

Once the GST Constitution Amendment Bill is cleared by Parliament, the draft legislations will be put up in the public domain and views of the trade and industry will be sought, the official added.

The CGST will be a central law and the states would have to pass their own legislations that will be based on the model legislation being prepared by the Centre. States would also have to approve iGST, which will deal in inter-state movement of goods and services.

The government plans to implement the single-rate GST, which would subsume central excise, service tax and other local levies, from April 1, 2016. GST is estimated to boost India’s GDP by 1-2%.

The Constitution Amendment Bill for rollout of GST has been passed in the Lok Sabha, but is yet to be approved by the Rajya Sabha where the ruling BJP does not enjoy a majority of its own.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said he wants the GST to be implemented from April next year, but warned that the new indirect tax regime may get delayed by some time if the Congress continues to obstruct it.

Source : Business Standard

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