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Consensus eludes Day 1 of GST Council meeting

New Delhi: Consensus eluded on the model GST law on Day 1 of the meeting of the all-powerful GST Council, which will deliberate again tomorrow the issue and also try to resolve the contentious point of dual control of assessees under the new indirect tax regime.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The fifth meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, will also deliberate on impact of demonetisation on revenue.

The Centre plans to implement the GST from April 1. Due to Constitutional compulsion, the GST has to be rolled out by September 16 next year as the existing indirect taxes will come to an end, and it would not be possible for either Centre or the states to collect indirect taxes.

Some state finance minister exuded confidence that it was still possible to implement GST from April 1, 2017, though the Centre is running on a tight time schedule.

“On duel control there is no consensus so far. It will be taken up tomorrow,” Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu told reporters after the meeting, and also expressed hope that April 1 target for the GST roll out is possible.

He said the finance ministers discussed State GST law and in tomorrow meeting “we would be able to clear large chunks of model GST law”.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said that the meeting was inconclusive as “we had to spend nearly two hours to decide upon the agenda itself”.

“Many states wanted the cross empowerment agenda to be taken up first but officially it was the agenda that GST law should to be taken first. So lot of debate time was spent on this…,” he said.

The GST Council has to finalise the model GST law, Integrated GST (IGST) law and compensation law at their meeting tomorrow.



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