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No legal infirmity in GST notifications, says Hasmukh Adhia
Clearing the air regarding the 
applicability of the recent notifications related to GST Law, the Finance Ministry said there is no 'legal infirmity' in the notifications issued for the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016. Questions had been raised by some after the centre notified certain provisions in the GST Law with effect from 16 September 2016, stating that the government, under amended entry 84, will levy excise duty only on goods such as petroleum crude, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas, high-speed diesel and tobacco products. The Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that there is no legal requirement for any further clarification or notification in this regard. His statement comes a day after he posted on Twitter that questions had been raised regarding the amendments and the necessary clarifications may be issued if needed.

Source: The Indian Express dated 20 September 2016

GST on mind, Centre mulling to advance winter session
In a bid to roll out the crucial GST from 1 April next year, the Modi government is considering to advance the winter session of Parliament to pass the Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) B
ills and pave the way for the implementation of the new sales tax regime. The winter session of parliament is generally convened in the third or fourth week of November. However, the government is looking to start the session from the first fortnight of November, just after the festival season.

Source: The Times of India dated 18 September 2016

Government plans INR 40 billion overhaul of 80 border check posts for GST: Nitin Gadkari
Road Transport and Highways Ministry is considering an INR 40 billion overhaul of around 80 border check posts across the country to ensure the seamless flow of goods ahead of the implementation of GST. An app to link check posts, under stategovern ments as well as the centre, is also in the works, the government has said. “The Ministry would be one of the biggest contributors towards the GST regime. There are check posts under the state governments as well as the central government. We are going to link them and are developing an app for it," Road Transport and Highways Minster Nitin Gadkari told the Press Trust of India.

Source: First Post dated 18 September 2016

GST may have multiple rates initially, no RNR too: Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia
The GST may have multiple rates on the lines of some European countries and a revenue neutral rate will not be possible initially, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said. The uniform indirect tax is expected to be rolled out from April next year. Adhia, however, said the final decision on this will be taken by the newly-constituted GST Council comprising the Union Finance Minister and State Finance Ministers. "We too may have to begin with multiple rates and this is required to protect the poor and the middle class," Adhia reasoned, adding that a revenue neutral rate will not be possible initially. Addressing the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he further said the rate structure will be such that "the overall burden of tax will come down in most commodities. But a final decision on this will be taken by the GST Council".

Source: The Economic Times dated 17 September 2016

Government notifies GST Council
The government has formally notified the GST Council, which will decide on the tax rate, exempted goods and the threshold under the new taxation regime. The Council will be chaired by the Union Finance Minister and have a minister in charge of finance or taxation or any other minister nominated by each state government as its member. Also, the Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance at the centre would be a member.

Source: The Indian Express dated 16 September 2016

Government works on 4-slab rate, exemption for 50 percent goods and services
Ahead of the first meeting of the GST Council on 22-23 September, the government is of the view that the basic tenet of the GST regime would be that it is 'pro-poor' with 50 percent of essential goods and services exempted from any tax. The tax exclusion to nearly half the goods and services, an official said, would be “optically and politically correct” for the NDA government as already 300 items in the centre and nearly 80 items in the states have this exemption. At a review meeting that discussed the run-up to the rollout, the consensus seemed to be that the new tax regime should not put fresh inflationary pressure and backed Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia’s proposal of a tax band of 8 to 26 percent with four rate slabs. Sources said it was suggested that proposed slab rates of 8, 10, 18 and 26 percent be tweaked to 10, 12, 16 and 25 percent so that it would not affect revenue earnings and kept states on board as the final call has to be taken by the GST Council comprising of State Finance Ministers and headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Source: The Indian Express dated 15 September 2016

Did you know?
There will be 33 GST Act’s that will need clearance from respective central and state parliamentary houses in order to apply GST across India. The said GST acts are as follows:
  • 29 State GST Acts
  • 2 Union with Legislature State GST Act
  • 1 Integrated GST Act (IGST Act)
  • 1 Central GST Act (CGST Act)
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