July 1 date with GST looks set as council clears all bills

by Frankie Norman March 17, 2017, 0:54
July 1 date with GST looks set as council clears all bills

The actual cess on demerit goods, which will help create a corpus for compensating states for any loss of revenue from GST implementation in the first five years, may be lower than the cap as the Council has kept a "little" headroom for future exigencies, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

Next meeting of the GST council is on March 31st where rules will be fine tuned before the final discussion on how goods and services will fit in the four tier tax slab structure of 5,12,18 and 28 per cent.

He said the Council has granted formal approval to all five legislations after the Council's 12th meeting on Monday and the final drafts of the three other Bills - Integrated GST (IGST), Central GST (CGST) and Compensation Bill - had been cleared by the Council in its previous meetings as well.

Speaking in New Delhi at the GST Council meet headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that July 1 is the tentative date fixed for GST implementation.

The GST Council on Thursday chose 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.

"We will try and do that expeditiously", he said. No decision has been taken to levy cess on bidis as of now, an official said.

Cess capped at 15 percent for luxury cars and aerated drinks.

The draft bills now need to be approved by the Cabinet and tabled in Parliament's ongoing budget session. "And the 15 per cent cess cap would apply on luxury cars and aerated drinks, while on pan masala, the cess has been capped at 135 per cent ad valorem".

The S-GST, which will allow states to levy the tax after VAT and other state levies are subsumed in the GST, will have to be passed by each state Assembly. Officers had already done the groundwork, The drafts were already circulated.

"After these rules are approved, one major action will be required which is with regard to the fitment of various commodities into the tax slabs", he said.

A similar 15 per cent cess cap has been approved for aerated drinks as well, and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that any other item that the Council decides to bring into the remit of the cess subsequently would attract the same ceiling rate of 15%.

"Once that is done, we will be ready for GST implementation".

With regard to taxation of SEZ under the GST regime, an official said it would be "zero rated at par with exports". In the earlier draft, SEZs would have had to pay the tax and then claim a refund. "This is a resounding reiteration from the government about their seriousness to introduce GST by July 1", said Sachin Menon, national head of indirect tax at consultancy firm KPMG.


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