New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council will meet on Thursday to discuss the remaining two draft laws — UTGST (Union Territory GST) and sGST (state GST) — to enable a likely rollout of the new indirect tax regime by July 1.
GST Council consists of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and state finance ministers.
The meeting will be held in the evening. A meeting of concerned GST officials of the central and state government took place in the morning to do the groundwork for the meeting, Finance Ministry sources told IANS.
The government is hoping for the passage of UTGST and sGST draft laws at Thursday’s meeting.
“The sGST and UTGST are replica of cGST (central GST) and the settlement of their drafts is only a formality,” Jaitley had said earlier.
The other three draft laws — central cGST (cGST), integrated GST (iGST) and compensation draft laws — have already been approved by the Council.
Once these are approved, the four laws – compensation, UTGST, cGST and iGST – will be approved by the Cabinet and placed in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the sGST draft law will have to be approved by the legislative assemblies of states and union territories (Delhi, Puducherry).
The UTGST draft law is for the union territories like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which do not have legislative assemblies.
With the approval of the five draft laws, the legislative action of the GST Council will be over, after which there will be another meeting for fitment of the goods and services in the tax slabs – 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent, 28 per cent.
The Council has approved raising the cGST, sGST peak tax rate from 14 per cent to 20 per cent each, amounting to a peak rate of 40 per cent, though Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has assured that the maximum ceiling is only for future contingencies.
The government is looking at a rollout date of July 1 for the new indirect tax regime.
“It (GST) looks on track. Subject to Parliament approval, it looks like the possible date of implementation of GST is July 1,” Jaitley said.