The goods and services tax (GST) Council at a meeting on Saturday broadly agreed on the contours of two key legislations — Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) — but a final approval is likely only by mid-March.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with his state counterparts on Saturday and discussed the GST legislations to be adopted by Union Territories, but there was no discussion with regard to the State GST (SGST) Bill.
"As many as 26 changes sought by states have been accepted by the Centre. This shows the federalist character of India. CGST and IGST will come up for further discussion at the next meeting of the Council in mid-March," West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said.
Mitra further said both the Centre and states have agreed to provide a composition scheme to dhabas and small restaurants.
"States were seeking that dhabas and small restaurants can adopt the composite scheme. The Centre has agreed to that and now these small businesses will pay 5 per cent tax (to be shared equally between the Centre and states)," Mitra said.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the CGST and IGST legislations have been broadly agreed upon at the Council meeting on Saturday.
"Real estate should be brought under GST. Everybody knows that a lot of black money finds its way into real estate and bringing real estate under GST will help in curbing black money," Sisodia said.
Jammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu felt that "some minor editorial changes" are required in the legislations and they have to be sent to the legal department again.
Mitra further said IGST, which relates to the taxation of inter-state transfer of goods, the legislation will provide for the cross empowerment of state and central officers.
"It has been agreed that there will be the cross empowerment of states. Also, we did not want this as a notification, we wanted in the Act so that never in future can another council come and say states won't have power," Mitra stressed.