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GST Council to discuss anti-profiteering clause at Feb 18 meet

A critical anti-profiteering clause in the draft Goods and Services Tax law to ensure that the benefit of lower taxes gets shared with consumers is likely to be finalised at the 10th meeting of the all-powerful GST Council this weekend.

The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, is also likely to finalise the definition of 'agriculture' and 'agriculturist' as well as constitution of a 'National Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal' to adjudicate on disputes.

Officials said the Law Ministry has sent the approved language and draft of the model GST Law, which outlines how the new national sales tax will be levied on goods and services.

The law ministry-approved draft and the language would be first discussed by the Council's sub-committee comprising central and state officials on Friday before the Council takes it up at its 10th meeting scheduled to be held in Udaipur on February 18.

If the GST Council approves the revised draft in its meeting on Saturday, the government will attempt to present it before Parliament in the second half of current Budget Session next month, officials said.

The Government is keen to roll out the new regime from July 1 but for that it will have to get two laws - the Central GST (CGST) Act and Integrated GST (IGST) Act approved by Parliament and each of the state legislatives have to pass the State GST (SGST) Act.

The model law, to be discussed by the Council this weekend, provides a common draft of CGST Act, SGST Act.

Besides, there is an IGST law as well as Compensation law.

Officials said the government is keen that benefit of lower taxes is passed on to consumers and so an anti- profiteering measure has been incorporated in the draft law.

It provides for constituting an Authority to examine whether input tax credits availed by any registered taxable person, or the reduction in the price on account of any reduction in the tax rate, have actually resulted in a commensurate reduction in the price of the said goods and/or services supplied by him.

Supposing a good or service is to be levied with a GST of 5 per cent. But in course of the supply a 20 per cent tax is paid, whose input credit is taken. So the final consumer will be levied only 5 per cent tax and not 25 per cent as input credit of 20 per cent is already taken, an official explained.

"This has to be declared at the time of filing returns by the tax payer," the official said.

The taxable event under GST is supply of goods and services. The place of supply of goods is the place where the goods are delivered, except in few cases.

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