Jaitley says govt not bound to a timeline on GST

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Suchetana Ray

NEW DELHI: Fi­nancem­i­nis­terArun Jait­ley­onFri­dayre­fusedto“bind” him­self to a timeline on the goods and ser­vices tax (GST), rais­ing con­cerns that he wasn’t as op­ti­mistic about im­ple­ment­ing it by Septem­ber 2017.

“(But) we are try­ing to im­ple­ment it as fast as pos­si­ble. I think Iam­mak­ingrea­son­able­head­way,” he told me­di­a­per­sons at the end of the sev­enth GST Coun­cil meet­ing on Fri­day. It is be­lieved that dif­fer­ences be­tween the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and the states over com­pen­sa­tion and dual con­trol may be dent­ing Jaitley’s con­fi­dence on im­ple­ment­ing the new in­di­rect tax by Septem­ber.

The two-day meet­ing of the GST coun­cil, the high­est de­ci­sion­mak­ing body of the pro­posed tax with Jaitley as its head and all state fi­nance min­is­ters as mem­bers, saw the emer­gence of a con­sen­sus on two im­por­tant leg­is­la­tions re­quired to be passed by the Cen­tre and the states – the CGST and SGST. While CGST is the tax im­posed by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment on the in­tra-state sup­ply of goods and ser­vices, SGST is charged by states.

Since both the leg­is­la­tions have beenap­proved­bytheGST­coun­cil, they­will­now­betabled­be­for­estate as­sem­blies.

The coun­cil also dis­cussed the GST com­pen­sa­tion law, which will be vet­ted by the law min­istry be­fore get­ting the coun­cil’s fi­nal ap­proval. Though it was al­ready dis­cussed and agreed upon, the de­mon­eti­sa­tion ini­tia­tive has re­port­edly spurred the states to de­mand changes in the law – in­clud­ing bi-monthly pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion in­stead of quar­terly.

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