Trucks laden with iron ore sit in traffic on a bridge en-route to Paradip Port in Paradip, Odisha, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Cabinet May Consider GST Supplementary Legislations On Monday

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  • The Union Cabinet may take up on Monday the approval of supporting Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislations, which will then be introduced in Parliament as the government sprints to meet the July 1 target date for rollout of the new indirect tax regime.

    A set of four supporting legislations—the Compensation Law, the central GST (CGST), integrated GST (IGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST)—are likely to together go to the Cabinet for approval.

    Sources said the Cabinet meeting has been called for Monday morning and the agenda list may not be very long.

    The GST Council, in its previous two meetings, had given approval to the four legislations as also the state GST (SGST) bill. While the SGST has to be passed by each of the state legislative assemblies, the other four laws have to be approved by Parliament.

    Once approved, levy of GST will get legal backing.

    The government is hoping the CGST, IGST, UTGST and the GST Compensation laws will be approved in the current session of Parliament and the SGST by each of the state legislatures soon to help roll out the new indirect tax regime from July 1.

    While a composite GST will be levied on sale of goods or rendering of services after the new indirect tax regime is rolled out, the revenue would be split between Centre and states in almost equal proportion.

    This because central taxes like excise and service tax and state levies like VAT will be subsumed in the GST.

    While the CGST will give powers to the Centre to levy GST on goods and services after Union levies like excise and service tax are subsumed, the IGST is to be levied on inter-state supplies.

    The SGST will allow states to levy the tax after VAT and other state levies are subsumed in the GST. The UTGST will also go to Parliament for approval.

    Sources said the Council has already finalised a four-tier tax structure of 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 and 28 per cent, but the model GST law has kept the peak rate at 40 per cent (20 per cent to be levied by the Centre and an equal amount by states) to obviate the need for approaching Parliament for any change in rates in future.

    Similarly, the cess to be levied on top of peak rate on selected demerit goods like luxury cars for creation of a corpus that will be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue from GST implementation in the first five years, has been capped at 15 per cent.

    Sources said the government may attempt for all the four laws to be taken up for approval in Parliament together during the ongoing Budget session that ends on April 12.