Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
GST Council met for the tenth time at Udaipur on 18th February, 2017, its first meeting out of Delhi and at Udaipur (Rajasthan). This meeting being at Udaipur for only few hours, being of one day and then due to air connectivity, people were reaching till 12.00 p.m. of same day. While it could have been the last meeting before GST Bills were approved, this could not be done due to various other issues which had to be ironed out. Perhaps there will be few more meetings before GST see the light of the day.
10th GSTC meeting was crucial as it paved the way for many decisions before final approval of draft legislations take place. Though the draft Bills (CGST / SGST / IGST) could not be finalized, yet compensation Bill was finally cleared by GSTC. Major decisions which were taken at Udaipur meeting include –
GST: What next
It appear that once the legislative bills are cleared, hopefully in next GSTC meeting, the approved bills may not be placed in public domain for further comments but may finally go to the Parliament as Bills. It would however, be desirable for the sake of transparency to let the country know what all amendments have been made. After all, India needs a near perfect law (if not perfect)with least of aberrations and inconsistencies. This becomes more important as these Bills may not be referred to any Standing or Select Committee of Parliament since these have been vetted by an all powerful GSTC.
Udaipur, being a romantic city could not romance with GST and the final approval got delayed for a fortnight or so as GST Council is next meeting is now scheduled for 2 days on 4-5 March, 2017 Delhi. This will be the crucial meeting before Bills are tabled in Parliament in the second trench of ongoing Budget session beginning from 9th March, 2017.