The government wants to establish the proposed GST Council in six to eight weeks so as not to lose time to roll it out from April 1, 2017. “Our aim is to set up the GST Council by end-September or early October so that it can begin working on the fine details of the tax system, including rates, compensation as well as the Model GST legislation,” said sources familiar with the development.
The Council will be set up once the Constitution Amendment Bill is ratified by at least 50 per cent of the States and receives the President’s assent. Indications are that the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, which is charting the GST roadmap, will be converted into the GST Council. It will play a pivotal role in determining other aspects of the tax such as exemptions, threshold, compounding and control.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has indicated that the government wants at least 16 States to ratify the Bill in the next 30 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are understood to have also sounded out Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States on the issue.