GST Council okays Bills, sin cess rate

In all the melee the crucial discussion on GST rates is yet to happen

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) council on Thursday has approved the State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) law. "I hope the states will also try to get their laws cleared by Assemblies expeditiously", Jaitley told reporters after the council meeting.

The GST council has broadly approved the four-slab structure of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent.

On track to rolling out tax by July 1, says Jaitley; cess on sin and environmentally harmful goods capped at 15%.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley talks to West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra (centre) and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasami at the GST Council Meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. "These cars are now taxed at 40 per cent, so the cess may only be around 12 per cent", the minister said. Officers had already done the groundwork, The drafts were already circulated. While state legislatures will ratify the SGST provisions.

Now among the pending agenda for the GST council is to approve four rules - composition, valuation, input tax credit and transitions.

With the Council having already cleared three other GST laws - pertaining to central GST, integrated GST and the compensation to be paid to states for loss of revenue - this paves the way for the Centre and the states to pilot the new indirect tax system proposed to be introduced from July 1, through the Parliament and state assemblies, respectively.

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The GST Council on Thursday made a decision to cap the cess on luxury and sin goods at 15% taking the peak GST rate at 43% for these items even as it cleared all supporting laws.

Following this, all the drafts will be sent to the Cabinet and later to the Parliament for final approval.

"After these rules are approved, one major action remains - the fitment of various commodities into different tax slabs which we will strive to do in the Council meeting thereafter".

Addressing the "CII Delhi State Annual Session" today, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he wants to set up the cell in coordination with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to help small traders "understand" GST which is expected to come into effect from July 1. In the earlier draft, SEZs would have had to pay the tax and then claim a refund.

KPMG (India) National Head, Indirect Tax, Sachin Menon said clearance of the model GST law is warning bell for those who have not yet commenced their preparations for introduction of GST. The actual cess on these items will be decided later but the cap has been provided in the draft legislation, the sources said.

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