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GST Council meet today may approve crucial legislations

The GST council is expected to approve two crucial legislation at its meeting on Thursday, giving a fresh push to the government's efforts to roll out the ambitious indirect tax reform from July 1. The council is likely to approve the state GST (SGST) and the union territory GST (UTGST) bills, and the government expected to seek cabinet approval for the other bills approved by the council earlier. The favourable verdict in four states — UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa — is expected to bolster the Centre's position further. Sources said the government was working on a plan to ensure that the bills got parliamentary approval in the ongoing session. State legislatures will also need to approve the SGST legislation. The prospects of a GST rollout by July 1 brightened after the Council approved a draft law last month that seeks to compensate states fully in case of revenue loss as a result of the tax reform. Earlier this month, the council approved two key legislations, the central GST (CGST) and integrated GST (IGST). The GST council, a panel comprising Union and state finance ministers, also agreed to cap the levy at 40%, while sticking to the earlier slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28%. The CGST legislation will empower the Centre to levy tax on goods and services once central excise and service tax are subsumed. SGST will let states levy tax after VAT and other levies are subsumed in GST.

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