GST council to meet on Jan 16 to resolve contentious issues: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who held pre-budget consultation with the state Finance Ministers here on Wednesday, acknowledged the difficulty in meeting the April 1 deadline for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and expressed hope that all contentious issues would be resolved in the meeting of the GST Council on January 16.

The committee on allowances is ready to submit its report even two months in advance, when the Finance minister Arun Jaitley calls up, the committee will submit its report.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“We know the difficulty, we are moving against time that is why we are meeting on January 16,” Jaitley said hours after chairing a pre-budget consultative meeting with the state Finance Ministers here.

Jaitley, earlier on January 1 this year, said that he is hopeful about the GST being implemented in 2017.

“I see 2017 as a year in which GST will be implemented, and a digitized economy will be future of India,” he said.

Jaitley also said the definition of territory and dual control are two key issues that are pending, adding the ministry also discussed six economic sectors during the meeting.

“We had a two day meeting of the GST council and a half day meeting of the State Finance Minister today for the purpose of pre budget consultation. Yesterday there were six different sectors of the economy, banking, insurance, aviation, railways, export which amongst others made detailed presentations with regard to the requirements of their sectors before the GST council. Some of them also made the point, particularly the telecom IT industries that they wanted a centralised registration,” Jaitley said.

“Most of the states were having very positive attitude and we have started a discussion which was inconclusive and we have decided to meet again on January 16 so we are able to present our own perspective and wish lists of what should be done as far as union budget is concern,” he added.

While the stalemate over dual control in GST remained, Jaitley said the council approved initial 10 chapters of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). Some chapters remain undecided and presentations were being made on six sectors, the Finance Minister added.

“Integrated GST (IGST) has 11 chapters, initial ones have been discussed, few are remaining, because discussion was inconclusive,” he added.

The GST Council has earlier on Tuesday discussed issues related to Integrated Goods and Services Tax in a meeting held in New Delhi and chaired by Jaitley. The council has ministers from states as members.

In the meeting, all the coastal states, irrespective of parties’ affiliation demanded state jurisdiction up to 12 nautical miles in high seas to levy GST on trade of goods.

The states also demanded increase in the number of items on which cess is to be levied to compensate the states to deal with revenue loss post demonetisation. In the previous meeting held last month, the council had approved the primary drafts of Central GST and state GST laws.

The council had also cleared the basic draft of compensation law under which the states will be fully compensated for any loss of revenue for five years due to the implementation of new direct tax regime.

The compensation to the states will be paid every two months. The Centre is keen to finalise the draft GST legislations to ensure they are tabled in Parliament and state assemblies in the ensuing Budget Session.(ANI)