GST meet inconclusive as state FMs want more tax data

Meeting of the all powerful GST Council failed to reach any conclusion on the dual control issue as states objected to non-availability of updated data on assessees of service tax, excise and VAT.

The Goods and Services Tax Council, comprising state finance ministers and headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will meet informally on November 20 to sort out the differences.

Some state ministers, sources said, could also meet on November 19 to sort out differences over dual control, which will determine the jurisdiction of Centre and states over assessees.

The Council will formally meet on November 24 and 25 to decide on a host of issues including the dual control and approve draft legislations on IGST, CGST and SGST. The meeting was earlier scheduled for November 9 and 10. “There will be dual control or cross empowerment or else GST cannot be implemented. It is absolutely clear in everyone’s’ mind,” said a minister after the 4th GST Council meeting.

“The only problem is that we do not want to make a decision in rush. We work with data. We need those numbers. Once we have the numbers, we will decide,” he said. Another minister said that states have asked the Centre to come with updated data on Service Tax, Excise and VAT. Some state ministers also demanded service tax assesses below Rs 1.5 crore should be allowed to be assessed by states.

“We had agreed upon that in the case of goods there will be a threshold of Rs 1.5 crore. We wanted that principle should be extended to services also. But Centre is not willing,” said another minister, adding that before the mood could become acrimonious “we decided to break” and meet again on November 20.

Some members also objected to “re-opening” of agreed position that traders dealing in goods with a turnover of below Rs 1.5 crore will come under the jurisdiction of state governments.

On Thursday, the Council had agreed on a four-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent, under the GST regime.
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