GST Council passes crucial Central GST, Integrated GST laws

Elbert EdwardsMar 05, 2017

The next meet of GST Council is scheduled on March 16. Subsequently, the bills will be tabled together in Parliament in the second half of the budget session.

This means the central GST and state GST can be up to 20 percent each, leaving the scope for a maximum levy at 40 percent. "Today, laws were put for discussion, GST council approved the laws".

Further, the 4-slab rate structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% that was agreed on a year ago will not be disturbed by this increase in the peak rate.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which approved the Central GST and Integrated GST on Saturday in its 11th meeting, witnessed the state finance ministers talking in chorus with the centre.

The remaining two Bills namely, State GST and the Union Territory GST, which would be nearly a replica of the CGST Act, would be taken-up for approval in the next meeting of GST Council scheduled on March 16 2017.

The government is now poised to implement GST from July 1 provided it got necessary approval from Parliament, he said.

One such indication is that the GST Council will in the laws insert a provision to set the peak rate of GST at 40% (i.e. 20% CGST + 20% SGST) instead of 28% (i.e. 14% CGST + 14% SGST).

Officials said this will now be changed to say the rate will not exceed "20 percent".

The S-GST, which will allow states to levy the tax after VAT and other state levies are subsumed in GST, will have to be passed by each of the state Assemblies.

The government is keen to roll out the new regime from 1 July.

Mirroring the model GST law, the CGST, SGST and UTGST law will be firmed up by the Centre, states and Union Territories, respectively.

CNBC reported that West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said while the bills had broadly been cleared, the states had wanted 26 minor changes.

With regard to exporters, the Council has decided that 90 per cent of the refunds claim will be made within seven days of filing the application.

The Centre will also levy and collect the IGST on all inter-State supply of goods and services. The UT-GST will also go to Parliament for approval.

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