SKP Group
SKP GST Update
12 December 2016 | Issue 23
6th GST Council meet on 11 December 2016

The first session of the two-day GST council meeting (6th GST Council meet) was conducted yesterday on 11 December 2016 to discuss the draft Model GST legislation released in the public domain last month. The meeting on 12 December 2016 is postponed to 22 and 23 December 2016, due to a public holiday (Eid-e-Milad).

The key highlights of the meeting are summarised below:
  • The Council had a detailed discussion on the Model CGST and SGST legislation (Model GST Law) which was released in the public domain on 26 November 2016. The council deliberated upto section 99 of the Model GST Law out of the 197 sections. The major provisions now pending for discussion include appeals, revision, anti-profiteering clause, transitional provision, etc. 
  • Few clauses of the Model GST Law will be redrafted. The redrafted clauses will be put up for discussion before the council again. 
  • The two other laws i.e. the Compensation and IGST legislation will be taken up in the next meeting to be held during 22 and 23 December 2016. 
  • The issue of cross empowerment for the division of administrative, auditing and assessing powers between the Centre and the states was not taken up during the meeting. However, the Finance Minister assured that they are ready with various options for the discussion with the Council on the issue of cross empowerment. 
  • The Finance Minister re-confirmed the target date of the implementation of GST as 1 April 2017 stating that the government does not have the discretion of time for GST implementation, as constitutionally, the last date for GST implementation is 16 September 2017. However, the Finance Minister of Kerala expects that GST can be rolled out only by September 2016.
SKP's comments
The next meeting of the GST Council is scheduled with an agenda to get consensus on the draft GST legislation. With satisfactory progress made on the discussion of legislations and consensus obtained on the majority of the sections of the Model GST Law, the clearance of Model GST law in the next meeting seems probable.

With no resolution on the contentious issue of ‘dual control’ coupled with the winter session of the Parliament that will be concluded on 16 December 2016, the government’s target date of 1 April 2017 seems challenging. Nonetheless, with the Centre’s determination and constitutional timeline, the implementation of GST next year is imminent and thus, industries need to gear up for this new tax regime.

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