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Hope to take GST legislations to Parliament in Budget session: Jaitley

Keen to rollout the Goods and Services Tax by July, the government plans to take the supporting legislations to Parliament in March, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

While the all-powerful GST Council has already decided on a four-slab tax structure for the indirect tax regime, the levy for different goods and services will be decided by May or June.

Jaitley said he hopes to get Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) draft legislations approved at the next GST Council meeting on February 18 and bring them in the second half of ongoing Budget Session. It will reconvene on March 9 after a month long break and continue till April 12.

"Now the main policy issues (with regard to CGST and IGST) over nine meetings have been put to rest. Final drafts are now being prepared and once they are circulated with the legally vetted language, those drafts will have to then go to Parliament and state legislature (for SGST) for approval.

"We will meet on 18th of this month. Hopefully, my target currently is to finalise those drafts and take them in the second part of the Budget Session in Parliament," Jaitley said at a post-Budget meet with industry chambers.

While the CGST will subsume central taxes of excise, central sales tax and service tax, IGST is to be charged on movement of goods and services from one state to another.

States will also have to pass SGST or State Goods and Service Tax. Also, a GST Compensation Act needs to be approved by Parliament to provide for compensation to states that lose revenue from implementation of GST in first five years.

"One parallel exercise is fitment of various commodities in to the rate structure for that the officer have to meet," Jaitley said.

The GST Council has fixed the four-tier structure of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said a good or service will be put in a slab which is closest to the current rate at taxes.

"As far as fitment of rate is concerned there are four slabs. The present incidence of VAT plus excise duty, or VAT plus service tax it whatever is the incidence, the slab closer to that is the slab where it will fall," he said.

Also, there will be a few items of exception which will go to the GST Council for discussion, he said. "We hope to complete the process of final rules and laws by 31st of March, rates can be decided even in the month of May or June."

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