Govt mulling third revised draft of GST

It will seek to address states concerns

Govt mulling third revised draft of GST

The Empowered Committee of state finance ministers on Goods & Services Tax (GST) is slated to discuss the Centre’s proposal on the bill and take a view on the second draft.
At its previous meeting on August 18, some states had wanted a month’s time to study the revised draft.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said a third revised draft could be prepared to sort out states’ concerns. “We will decide on the issue of third revised draft (of the bill) after knowing the views of state finance ministers,” a key official in the finance ministry said. “The state finance ministers would meet on September 20 to discuss the re-revised draft of the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST,” the source said. The Centre had to come out with the second draft of the bill, after the states rejected the first one, alleging that it proposed vesting of veto powers with the Union Finance Minister on state taxation issues.

The first draft had proposed setting up of a GST Council to take decisions on GST with the consent of the Union Finance Minister and a two-third majority of states. The revised draft, however, said the council could take a decision only when there is a consensus. The Constitutional Amendment bill is required because under the present system, the Centre cannot impose tax beyond manufacturing and states cannot impose service tax. The new GST would be imposed by the Centre and states on the common base of goods and services.

Implementation of GST has already missed earlier deadline of  April 1, 2010, and is likely to miss the new timeframe of introducing it from the start of next fiscal.

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