New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday informed that discussion on legislative drafting of goods and services tax (GST) laws has started and bulk of provisions have been cleared.
The 6th meeting of the all-powerful GST Council was slated to decide on dual control of assesses but the two-day meeting was curtailed to half and even today that issue couldn't be discussed because all the time was lost in going clause by clause of the voluminous draft legislations.
While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not categorically said that the April 1 target date would be missed, states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu said that meeting the deadline was not possible and GST could be rolled out from September.
Jaitley said that he was hopeful of clearing draft legislation at next meeting. However, dual control of assessees was not discussed in GST Council meeting.
Tomorrow's meeting of GST Council has been called off due to holiday and panel will meet again on December 22-23.
"In the draft legislation there are about 195 sections. So it is the core bill of the legislation. We discussed 99 sections and a few clauses need to be redrafted. We would change that during the course of time. Hopefully, in the next meeting we would be able to clear the legislation part," Jaitley said.
Kerala FM Thomas Isaac said demonetisation has eroded states trust. "April 1 deadline is out of picture, GST can be rolled out only by September".
Tamil Nadu also said that April 1 target was not possible.
"Too many sections of law yet to be finalised, GST can't happen without consensus on dual control," Tamil Nadu Finance Minister said after the meeting.
Jaitley, however, said that Centre stands by the April 1, 2017 target of implementing the GST.
"We do not have the discretion of time. By September 16,2017 the curtains will draw on the old taxation rules," Jaitley said.
The discussion on the Integrated GST (IGST) law is likely to happen in the next meeting of the Council along with that of deciding on the jurisdiction over assessees.
"Hopefully, in the next meeting we would be able to clear the legislation part. We will take up legislation and possibly the cross empowerment issue if time permits," Jaitley said.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy said the Finance Minister is trying for a consensus. "We want a fair play on dual control".
The Council`s two-day meeting commenced earlier in the day in the shadow of the November 8 demonetisation, whose fallout has put a serious question mark on implementing GST by the central government`s targeted deadline of April 1, next year.
The meet was also expected to finalise three legislations -- Central GST, Integrated GST and the Compensation law -- after which these will be placed in Parliament.
The Council`s fifth meeting here earlier this month also failed to break the deadlock between the Centre and the states on the vexed issue of dual control on assessees in the proposed pan-India indirect tax regime.
At the meeting then, the states continued to highlight the impact of the November 8 demonetisation of high-value currency on their respective economies to underline that it is not the appropriate time to implement GST that, they aver, could have a destabilising effect on the economy.
Besides, the Centre continues to be intransigent on the issue of jurisdiction over assessees, the states maintain.
With PTI Inputs