GST On July 1; GST Council Clears State-GST, UT-GST Laws

In all the melee the crucial discussion on GST rates is yet to happen

In all the melee the crucial discussion on GST rates is yet to happen

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that all GST laws including the State GST and Union Territory GST have been approved by the GST Council.

This move let all the five enabling draft bills as approved, enabling the roll out of the new indirect tax regime by July 1.

"With the final approvals, the legislative exercise stands complete and July 1 is the tentative date of GST's implementation".

The GST legislation is likely to be taken up as money bills in Parliament this budget session, which restarted on March 9 after a month-long recess.

The Council also capped 15 per cent cess as upper limit on top of the peak GST rate of 28 per cent which will be levied on luxury goods and aerated drinks. The Council will now be discussing the formulation of rules that will govern the new tax, Jaitley said, adding that the committee will be meeting again on March 31 to approve four of those regulations while it will also consider the changes to five others that were approved earlier. Apart from the four slab rates that has been already decided, the Council on Thursday also made a decision to impose a cess on luxury and other goods with a cap of 15 per cent.

Four of the proposed laws (except the state GST bill) will now be tabled together in the Lok Sabha after getting the Union cabinet's approval.

He said the Council has granted formal approval to all five legislations after the Council's 12th meeting on Monday and the final drafts of the three other Bills - Integrated GST (IGST), Central GST (CGST) and Compensation Bill - had been cleared by the Council in its previous meetings as well. The draft is being circulated to state assemblies.

The environment cess has been capped at Rs 400 per tonne. However, he did not divulge any further details about the meeting.

The unified tax will have four slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. "Not an extraordinary headspace, but only a marginal headspace", Arun Jaitley said after the meeting. "In view of this, I want to set up a dedicated cell in the help with the CII so that we can address queries of small traders when GST is implemented in the country", he said.

With regard to taxation of SEZ under the GST regime, an official said it would be "zero rated at par with exports".

PwC India Indirect Tax Leader Pratik Jain said, "It is also good to see a capping on cess at 15 per cent along with clear statement that cess will apply only on select commodities". "It will be too short a time for the industry for preparation if the states are not passing GST law latest by second half of April", said Sachin Menon, national head (Indirect Tax), KPMG in India.

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