Finance minister Arun Jaitley told state finance ministers of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to stick to the calendar agreed upon by them for meeting the April 1, 2017 deadline as the council failed to arrive at a consensus on outstanding issues at a meeting here.
Passage of Bills
Senior sources in the GST Council told The Hindu that Mr. Jaitley was keen that the Council approve the three revised Bills — the model GST law, the Integrated GST Act and GST (Compensation to the States for loss of revenue) Act — which need to be passed in this session of Parliament to stick to the April 1, 2017 deadline.
“Several states, including West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were, however, keen to resolve the contentious issue of dual administrative control to be shared between the Centre and States before proceeding,” the official said. “For nearly an hour and a half, the matter was debated, with the finance minister saying that the Council first clear the things around which there was a broad consensus.”
“We did go into the model laws, and basically gone up to section nine of the draft model GST law, and the rest to be taken up on Saturday, when we meet again,” said a finance minister who is part of the council.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said that it wants a “horizontal division” of the administrative control over assessees in the GST regime below Rs 1.5 crore and a “vertical division” between Centre and states above that threshold. On Saturday, when the Council meets again, demonetisation would also be discussed, he said.
“The April 1 timeline is still possible if a compromise is reached on the administrative aspects of GST. Cross empowerment is an issue on which we will not compromise.
“If dual control is not solved, the laws will not be able to be finalised tomorrow,” he warned.