April 1 deadline for GST ruled out: 4 options now for Arun Jaitley in Budget 2017


NEW DELHI: The ninth meeting of the GST Council today failed to break the deadlock over who gets to administer the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The states seek sole powers to control assessees with annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore. But Centre is not in favour of a horizontal split as it feels states do not have the expertise to administer levies like service tax.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who heads the GST Council, said after the meeting that the deadline to roll out GST might be deferred to July 1. The next date for the meeting hasn’t been decided yet.

Jaitley had hoped to resolve the pending issues to get the new indirect tax regime rolling from April 1 so that there was no need to include indirect taxes in the Budget.

The uncertainty over the date of the GST rollout has become a big problem for this year’s Budget. The Budget was not expected to include excise duties and service tax as the government was hopeful of rolling out GST from April 1, 2017.

Below are the options for the government for the Budget 2017 after the failure of today’s GST Council meeting:

1. The government can continue with the current taxation regime and prepare revenue estimates on the basis of current taxes.

2. Only exemptions and other distortions in the indirect tax structure can be removed without changing the indirect taxes.

3. The government can include excise duties and service tax in the Budget and revise estimates when the GST council sets new rates.

4. The government can make changes in indirect taxes in alignment with the proposed standard rates under GST draft law.