The fact that GST shall be implemented from the 1st of April, 2017 is well known and the GST Council has been given a time limit till the 22nd November, 2016 to come to a consensus upon all the current issues. Keeping that in mind, the GST-Council has started a three day meet from today, the 18th October, 2016 till the 20th of October, 2016 and once such consensus is met with, the matter of CGST and IGST can be taken forward in the Winter season of the Parliament starting from the 24th of November, 2016.
The agenda for the meeting shall be:
Rate of GST: The main highlight of the agenda shall be the rate of GST to be levied and collected from the consumers. The crucial point is to reach at a rate wherein there is a consensus between the states for the revenue collection and which is acceptable by all parties too.
In the previous year, a panel headed by Arvind Subramanian, the Chief Economic Advisor had recommended the following:
• 17% -18% as the standard rate for bulk of goods and services ,
• 12% for low rate goods and ;
• 40 % for goods with drawbacks like luxury cars, tobacco, pan masala etc.
• 2% – 6% for precious metals.
Speaking of the rate of GST, Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, had remarked that the rate for environment-unfriendly products will be “distinct” from others. Thus there might be few more criterion in deciding the rate of tax.
Assessment of Service tax: The Centre has proposed to retain power to assess eleven lakh service tax filers, to which the states are yet to come to a consensus upon.
Compensation to the state: The Finance Minister of Kerala wanted the GST to be on the northern side, near to 20% in order to protect the revenues of the state from the collection of taxes, to which some other states had supported. To discuss upon this claim of the states another point of the agenda is of the compensation that the state might receive from the Centre. Having said about the core agenda of the meet, we hope to see some positive outcomes in order to move forward for the Winter season, which surely will have a lot to deliberate upon, considering the mammoth task of a revolutionary change being expected.