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With the Centre and states again failing on Sunday to sort out contentious issue of dual control of assessees, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout from April 1 next year is now looking virtually impossible. The 6th meeting of the all-powerful GST Council was slated to decide on dual control of assesses but the two-day meeting was curtailed to half and even on Sunday that issue couldn’t be discussed because all the time was lost in going clause by clause of the voluminous draft legislations.
While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not categorically said that the April 1 target date would be missed, states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu said that meeting the deadline was not possible and GST could be rolled out from September. “In the draft legislation there are about 195 sections. So it is the core bill of the legislation. We discussed 99 sections and a few clauses need to be redrafted. We would change that during the course of time. Hopefully, in the next meeting we would be able to clear the legislation part,” Jaitley said.
The next meeting of the GST Council is scheduled for December 22-23. Kerala FM Thomas Isaac said demonetisation has eroded states trust. “April 1 deadline is out of picture, GST can be rolled out only by September”. Tamil Nadu also said that April 1 target was not possible.
“Too many sections of law yet to be finalised, GST can’t happen without consensus on dual control,” Tamil Nadu Finance Minister said after the meeting. Jaitley, however, said that Centre stands by the April 1, 2017 target of implementing the GST. “We do not have the discretion of time. By September 16,2017 the curtains will draw on the old taxation rules,” Jaitley said.