State FMs agree on Rs 10 lakh threshold for levying GST
New Delhi: State Finance Ministers on Wednesday pressed for lowering the threshold limit to Rs 10 lakh for imposing Goods and Service tax (GST) on entities and asked the Centre to specify GST compensation structure for five years in the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
The Empowered Committee of state Finance Ministers, which met here to deliberate on various issues connected with GST rollout, regretted that it has yet to hear the response of Centre on the structure of the new tax regime proposed by it.
"So far as shape of GST is concerned, we have made recommendation to Central Government after the last meeting. Government has not responded yet," Empowered Committee Chairman Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters.
The state FMs had proposed to keep products such as petroleum, tobacco and alcohol out of GST ambit and had demanded that the exemption list be included in the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
As regards the compensation structure, the states have demanded that a five year compensation mechanism be given by the Centre and same should be made in the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
"GST compensation structure should be part of Constitutional Amendment Bill," Rather said, adding that a five year compensation structure be included in the Bill.
As regards dual control, the states demanded legal powers, and not only administrative powers, to collect tax from businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore.
"The states insisted that legal powers should also be given to the states to the extent of Rs 1.5 crore threshold so far as Central GST is concerned," Rather said.
Under the dual control of traders - by both the Centre and states - in GST structure, taxpayers with annual turnover of over Rs 1.5 crore would be taxed by the Centre, which will later disburse to states their share.
Those entities with turnover below Rs 1.5 crore would pay their taxes to states, which would subsequently pass on to the Centre its share.
A decision of the threshold limit has been pending for long and the GST panel at its meeting today has fixed it at rs 10 lakh, lower than Rs 25 lakh proposed earlier.
Currently, the threshold for Value-Added Tax (VAT), it is Rs 10 lakh in most states.
"So far as threshold limit is concerned, it was decided that it should be Rs 10 lakh in respect of general category of states and Rs 5 lakh for special category and NE states," Rather said.
The GST will subsume indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax at the central level and VAT on the states front, besides local levies.
The GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, has lapsed and the NDA government will be required to come up with a fresh bill.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the government will try to bring in the new GST Bill in the Winter session of Parliament.
Rather said that the Empowered Committee would meet the members of the 14th Finance Commission shortly to apprise the Finance Commission about the impact of GST on revenues of the States.
"The Committee will urge the Commission to take care of the losses likely to be suffered by the States in the initial years of the implementation of the new GST regime," said a release issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
As regards the reports submitted to the Centre by the GST empowered committee, Rather said that government will react to this recommendations shortly in view of the assurance held out by them that the bill will be introduced in the Parliament during the winter session.