There was speculation that the GST
Council meeting was postponed from November 26 to the first week of December owing to differences between the Centre and states over a major portion of the draft GST
Bills. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia
puts these speculations to rest and tells Indivjal Dhasmana that the meeting was put off because the draft Bills
were to be cleaned up and finalised. Edited excerpts:
The GST Council meeting was postponed from November 25 to December 2 because the officers’ committee was not ready with the revised draft Bills. Were there differences between central and state officials on major issues?
The meeting was put off because the larger group of officials of all states and the Centre met on November 21 and 22 to look into the draft and clean it up. It had been looked into by the technical committee of officers earlier, a smaller group. It was not possible look into the entire draft Bills
and clean up so early. That is why the GST
Council meeting was postponed
Was every issue in the drafts sorted by consensus or a majority view taken?
There was consensus on most points in the Bills. Wherever there are differences among state officials or between central and state officials, those could be taken up at the GST
Rates were not given in the Bills. Will those come through notification?
Those were not given because flexibility is required. Suppose we include these in the GST Bills
and have to change the rate of one single item later. Then Parliament and every state Assembly will have to approve the change. These will come through notifications by the Centre and states later, whenever the GST
Council approves. In the draft, we only mentioned that the GST
rates will not exceed 14 per cent for CGST and SGST each.
Has the officers committee finalised segment-wise GST rates?
No, these are yet to be looked into. We first wanted to finalise the GST
Will the officers’ committee look into the dual control issue or will it be sorted by the GST Council?
Council will look into it.