The GST Council meeting on Friday remained inconclusive as state finance ministers are to now meet on November 20 to sort out pending issues. The GST Council will meet again on November 24-25 to sort out the dual control issue. Addressing a press conference, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that so far about 10 important issues have been resolved and decision have been taken. All the taxation officers have to administer taxes and there has to be clearly assigned guidelines, he said. “Can’t have two competing assessing authorities for same assessee; suggestions made on how to divide the assessee base. Tax exemption limit under GST will be Rs 20 lakhs, further 4 drafts will be prepared for discussion,” said Jaitley.
Jaitley also said that drafts will be provided to all states and states will be given time to review the drafts. On 24 & 25 November, drafts will come back to council. “One suggestion is to divide the base of assesses horizontally, between centre and states, with threshold of Rs 1.5 crore turnover. Once software based tax assessment will be in place it will be of great help to the taxpayers and the industry. Efforts on to pass supporting GST legislations in Winter Session of Parliament beginning Nov 16,” added Jaitley.
On Thursday, the Centre and the states managed to thrash out a broad consensus on the contentious issue of fixing tax rates under the proposed goods and services tax (GST) regime, marking a significant step forward in the rollout of the new tax regime by early next fiscal. On Thursday, a four-tier GST rate structure of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent was approved by the GST Council.
Chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the Council met in New Delhi for the fourth time to thrash out vexed issues of rates and dual control, wherein it was decided to fix 5 per cent duty on mass consumption items and a 28 per cent rate on items such as packaged consumer goods. This is a departure from the Centre’s earlier proposal of a 6 per cent floor rate and 26 per cent peak rate.