GST Council clears rules, all states agree to July 1 rollout
The Goods and Services Tax is one step closer to meeting the Centre’s July 1 timeline, though it remains unclear if West Bengal has come on board.business Updated: Jun 03, 2017 15:56 IST
The Goods and Services Tax Council on Saturday cleared the pending rules, including transition provisions and returns, with all the states agreeing to a July 1 rollout of the new tax regime.
“We were discussing the rules and (they) have been completed. Transition rules have been cleared and everybody has agreed for July 1 rollout,” Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac told reporters in New Delhi.
The GST Council had last month fitted over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the tax brackets of 5, 12, 18 and 28%.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley chaired the 15th meeting of the GST Council which is scheduled to decide on tax rate of six items including gold, textiles and footwear.
Isaac’s statement of all states agreeing to the July 1 rollout assumes significance as West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her state will not roll out the new indirect tax regime in its present form.
However, Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra was in attendance at the meeting.
Banerjee on Friday said that her government would not support the new GST system in its present form and that her government would write to Jaitley for making changes to make it suitable for all the sections of the society.
“We will not support the GST in its present form. In its present form, it doesn’t suit every section, especially the unorganised sector. They (Centre) have to rectify it... We have to continue with our fight to bring down the tax rates on certain products.
“Unless the rates are reduced, they will adversely impact the state’s economy and employment,” she had said.
As for the transition rules approved by Council, the industry had been demanding some relaxation of the provision of deemed credit.
The draft transition law provided that once GST is implemented, a company can claim credit of up to 40% of their Central GST dues for excise duty paid on stock held by businesses prior to the rollout.
Several dealers are choosing to wait and watch rather than buy and hold on to inventories. They have lobbied with the government seeking an increase in the credit limit.