Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, FCA, FCS

 Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal

GST Council (GSTC) met for the 13th time yesterday in last 6 months at New Delhi. The GSTC inter alia, decided on following –

(a) Approval to draft GST rules (5 out of 9) which were released in September 2016 duly aligned with GST law as approved by Lok Sabha on 29 March, 2017.

(b) The rules approved by GSTC are in relation to-

(i) Registration of taxpayers

(ii) Payment of tax

(iii) Filing of returns

(iv) Invoicing, debit & credit notes

(v) Refunds

(c) The tentative approval has been accorded to the remaining four set for rules which relate to:

(i) Valuation of supply of goods / services

(ii) Input tax credit

(iii) Transition provision for migration to GST regime

(iv) Composition scheme rule

The 14th meeting of the GST Council has been scheduled for 18-19 May, 2017 (after a gap of 48 days from now) at Srinagar (J&K) which has been kept out of CGST of regime as per the law passed for technical /  legal reasons.

The main agenda for the next GSTC meeting would be to:

(i) Grant final approval to tentatively approved four set of rules, and

(ii) Approval of rate structure in relation to individual items of goods and services

While it is expected that group of officers, both from the centre and states will now work as fitment of goods and services into the four GST rate slabs, there are few questions that remain to be answered :

  • Why this long gap of 48 days before next meeting ?
  • Fitment of rates is crucial to be known to trade and industry to take strategic decisions and so are transition and input credit rules. Would mid May will not be too late ?
  • What is the time frame for SGST legislation which has to be enacted by all 31 State legislative assemblies ?
  • Administrative set of CGST / SGST / dual control must also be made public now
  • Training and awareness campaign has also not picked up

If the remaining rules, which are important and rates are to be decided after mid May / with less than 45 days for proposed 1st July date, it may be difficult for all stake holders to implement w.e.f.  July, 2017.

All said and done, it appears that 1st July, 2017 roll out date may not be achievable and we may end up with 1st September, 2017 as the roll out date.

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