State Finance Ministers To Discuss Model GST Law


New Delhi: Amid hopes of the long pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill getting passed in the Rajya Sabha in the next Parliament session, state finance ministers will deliberate on the model GST law at a two-day meeting in Kolkata beginning Tuesday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will participate in the meeting of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers and try to iron out differences over the new regime that will subsume all indirect taxes and create one national market under GST.

“The meeting on June 14 and 15 will discuss the model GST law, which will be adopted by the Centre and all states. Union Finance Minister will attend the meeting on June 14,” an official said.

The Centre is planning to roll out the indirect tax from the next financial year beginning April 1, 2017, but the GST bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha because of stiff opposition from the Congress party.

Once the Constitution Amendment Bill to roll out GST is passed by Parliament, the Centre and states will have to adopt their own laws to give effect to the new indirect tax regime.

The Central GST (CGST) will be framed based on the model GST law. The states will draft their own State GST (SGST) based on the draft model law with minor variations incorporating state-based exemptions.

Besides these two laws, the Centre and states will have to approve the integrated-GST law or iGST, which will deal with inter-state movement of goods.

The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers is headed by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who took over the chairmanship in February.

The government has proposed to take up the GST Constitution Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha in the forthcoming monsoon session of the Parliament.

The reform of the indirect taxation was initiated by the Kelkar Committee in 2003, following which the UPA government in 2006 proposed the GST Bill.

The GST Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in May last year and has been pending in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA does not have the majority.