GST rollout unlikely before June-July

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime may only be possible by June-July as the possibilities of meeting the April 1 deadline are bleak now in view of the GST Council’s slow progress, some council members said on Tuesday.

“Rollout will definitely not be in April. If GST can be passed in the Budget session of Parliament, then June or July could be possible,” Kerala Finance Minsiter Thomas Isaac told reporters here at the end of Day 1 of the council meet.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said that the council could not reach a consensus on defining a state’s jurisdiction under the Integrated GST (iGST) and has not even resolved the dual control issue, which is fundamental to the indirect tax regime.

“Today’s discussion veered around major issues relating to the iGST. We could not reach a consensus on defining the state’s jurisdiction, i.e. whether states can charge GST within 12 nautical miles from the state or not. I don’t want to make predictions on the timeline, but we have not yet passed the iGST,” Mitra told reporters after the meet.

The iGST will now go to the Law Ministry for its opinion on the jurisdiction over the 12 nautical miles distance from the state.

“We haven’t been able to even touch the dual control issue, which is fundamental to this process. This will be taken up tomorrow (Wednesday). Once the council passes the draft GST law, rules have to be framed,” Mitra added.

The issue of dual control or cross empowerment that deals with assessee’s jurisdiction, has been a major bone of contention between the Centre and the states, and the council has been unable to find a common ground on it so far.

The Kerala Finance Minister on the issue of dual control said that the state is very firm that dealers and service providers below Rs 1.5-crore turnover, should be entirely under the state’s control.

The Day 1 of the council meet also saw various sectors, like telecom, banking and insurance, make presentations to the council and asking for a single registration under the GST.