All States support GST except Tamil Nadu Says Finance Minister Jaitley

Arun-Jaitley_PTIKOLKATA: Finance minister Arun Jaitley said today that virtually all states have supported the idea of GST. Speaking after a meeting of Empowered Committee of state Finance Ministers on the long awaited indirect tax reform, he said only Tamil Nadu has some reservations on it.
He said however that there was no deadline for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax which aims to subsume a string of state and central level levies. The meeting was attended by Finance Ministers of 22 states. Stating that this was a record attendance of Finance Ministers, Mr Jaitley said that every state has given detailed views on GST. Lok Sabha has already approved the GST Bill, and it is pending before the Rajya Sabha.

Central government has put model Goods and Services Tax, GST Law in public domain after getting in-principle nod from Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers. In a tweet, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, the Law is available on Finance Ministry’s website for comments and suggestions.

As per the model Law, all purchases made online will attract a uniform Goods and Services Tax. The tax, in lieu of local levies, will be imposed at the first point of financial transaction. This clears the air on applicability of GST in e-commerce in cases where goods were being sold in one state but was being bought in another state.

The model GST law, which has 162 clauses and 4 schedules, has also suggested a jail terms of up to 5 years and fine for violation of the provisions of the statute. It prescribes a threshold of 9 lakh rupees annual turnover for applicability of the new levy and 4 lakh rupees for businesses in North Eastern states including Sikkim.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, Government is hoping to get the Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. It plans to roll out GST from 1st of April, 2017 that will subsume excise, service tax and all local levies. It is expected to result in lower taxes, eliminate cascading taxes (tax on tax), improve compliance and widen the tax base.

The Minister held a meeting in Kolkotta today with state finance ministers to iron out differences on the goods and services tax. After the meeting he said that a broad consensus had been reached on a number of issues bogging down the reform. He said, virtually all states have supported the idea of GST, only Tamil Nadu has some reservations to it.

He said, the idea of the meeting was to lay down further roadmap with respect to how to proceed with the GST. Twenty two state finance ministers attended the meeting and there were representatives from all states and union territories. The meeting was presided over by the West Bengal Finance Minister, Mr. Amit Mitra who is the chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST.

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