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GST Council prepares timetable for April 1 roll out
23
Sep '16
At its first meeting, the newly constituted GST Council agreed on a timetable to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, 2017.  The meeting also arrived at a consensus on compounding or composition scheme, and decided that businesses below a turnover of Rs 50 lakh will pay 1-2 per cent tax, a rate that will be much lower than the GST rate.
 
However, differences remained on the turnover limit for exemption from the new tax. While Delhi wanted the threshold to be fixed at Rs 25 lakh of annual turnover, Uttar Pradesh was keen on Rs 10 lakh. Uttar Pradesh said it would lose 7.8 per cent of tax revenues if the threshold is kept at Rs 25 lakh, while Delhi was worried that its small traders would be hit if the threshold is kept at Rs 10 lakh. However, the majority view was in favour of a higher exemption limit as tax collected from traders is just 2 per cent of the total tax collection.
 
The meeting also saw states like Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu demanding a larger say that one-state-one-vote principle which puts a smaller state on equal footing with a state that has strong manufacturing industry. However, this demand was overruled.
 
Briefing reporters at the end of first day of the meeting, Union finance minister and GST Council chairperson Arun Jaitley said the timetable has been set keeping the April 1, 2017, deadline in mind. “The target also involves the passage of CGST and IGST law at the central Parliament and then the state GST law by the state legislatures in the winter session itself. Today, starting from September 22, we roughly have two months time till November 22 to resolve all outstanding issues and therefore a draft timetable was given which also have been adopted.”
 
“With regard to composition we have finalised our proposal which has been unanimously accepted by the members. With regard to threshold for exemptions, there are two sets of suggestions which have come. We have converged to those two different views and both on officers and ministers track we will continue the meeting tomorrow and thereafter so that we are able to converge to one particular figure as far as the exemptions are concerned,” Jaitley said.
 
On the second day, the Council's agenda includes discussion on dual control of central and state tax officials over assessees, and compensation to states for five years, in the event of revenue loss. (RKS)
 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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