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FM: Hopeful of resolving GST issues

The 8th meeting of the GST Council held over the last two days remained inconclusive and contentious issues such as dual control and how to tax high seas trade still have to be resolved.

However Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed optimism & hopes that these issues will be resolved in the next meet to be held on January 16th.The stand off on GST bill continues between the centre and various states. The two-day meeting of the all-powerful GST Council, the 8th in a row, made little headway in brokering a solution over double taxation.

States have reiterated their demand of having right to tax businesses worth less than Rs 1.5 crores. States continue to demand sole control over assessees with turnover below Rs 1.5 crore. The total share in revenue of assessees below Rs 1.5 crore turnover is 15 per cent. Some states also want the GST revenue from the highest tax bracket to be shared in 60:40 ratio with the Centre, instead of the present model of 50:50 sharing.

The next meeting of the GST Council, has been scheduled for 16TH January. The next meting would discuss the issue of jurisdiction over assessees as well as try to reach a finality on taxation of territorial waters.

Many states believe that the 1st April deadline to implement GST may be difficult to meet. States are also claiming higher financial losses owing to demonetisation. As a result they are now demanding a higher compensation to meet their set growth targets.

Before demonetisation, the compensation formula was discussed, and a corpus of Rs 55,000 crore has been agreed upon. Dismissing these claims Arun Jaitley has said that govt will exceed Budget estimates of indirect and direct tax revenue targets. This GST meet also saw representation from 6 sectors with Telecom, IT, banking, insurance industry pitching for centralised registration under GST.

GST Council is the supreme body in the matters of conflict between various stakeholders. It is hoped that the 9th meeting is expected to be more fruitful.

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