State finance ministers are scheduled to meet on November 20 to discuss the model goods and services tax (GST) law as well as the integrated-GST or iGST legislation. The Centre had earlier this month circulated among states the draft of CGST, SGST and iGST for their comments. “The meeting of states to discuss the laws is scheduled to happen on November 20," an official told PTI. The Central GST (CGST) will be framed based on the model GST law. Also, the states will draft their own State GST (SGST) based on the draft model law with minor variation incorporating state-based exemption.
Besides, iGST law would deal with inter-state movement of goods and services. After the draft laws are deliberated upon by states, it would be put up in the public domain seeking comments of trade and industry. “The model legislations have been drafted after consultations between representatives of both the Centre and states. Now, the state finance ministers have to formally approve it," another official said. Although the government had planned to roll out GST, which is touted as the most comprehensive indirect tax reform since Independence, from April 1, 2016, it seems difficult as the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. The government, however, is going ahead with the preparatory work necessary for smooth implementation of the GST, which will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi and the like and will ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country. The government has already put up three reports of empowered committee on GST on refunds, payment process and registration for public comments by October 31. Besides, another report of a Joint Committee in relation to GST return process has suggested providing monthly filing of returns for business to business dealings through a set of eight forms for different categories of transactions. It has suggested filing of a periodic e-return for CGST, SGST and iGST.