Eight States pass GST legislations
by Ranjeet Mahtani & Stella Joseph
Till date, eight States have already passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act in their respective State Assemblies, including Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. There are indications that the other States are likely to pass their State GST enactments by end of this month or beginning of the next month.
The GST Council’s rate fitment committee is said to have deliberated for three days starting May 4, 2017, to align all goods and services to different slabs and decide on bringing more items currently out of indirect taxation at central and state levels into the unified tax net. This fitment is then stated to be approved by the GST Council at its next meeting on May 18 and 19, 2017.
Further, apart from the slabs presently deliberated i.e. two slabs, 12% and 18% for services and five rates for goods—5%, 12%, 18%, 28% and 28% plus cess, there is a contemplation (as indicated by the Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia) of a separate/ special rate for gems and jewellery, between 2% and 5%. This aspect is likely to be deliberated by the GST Council in its upcoming meeting.
GST enrolment process
The enrolment process i.e. migration of existing registrations to GST has now been closed - with effect from May 1, 2017. The enrollment window is stated to be reopened at a later date for assessees who could not enrol themselves as well as for those who enrolled but did not sign the enrolment form. In terms of the estimates, more than 60 lakh taxpayers have already enrolled on the GST portal between November 8, 2016, and April 30, 2017.
Final meeting before roll-out
The upcoming meeting scheduled to be held at Srinagar, J&K on May 18 and 19, 2017. The Central Government has already informed that GST will be rolled-out from July 1, 2017. The officers of the Department of Revenue, Government of India led by the Revenue Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia and the concerned officials of the State Governments have already started the outreach programme to create general awareness among the people at large and stakeholders in particular and remove their doubts, if any, about the various provisions of GST and its related legislations.