Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) officilas on Thursday said that GST may not be ready for April 1 rollout. Sources told ET Now that the officials are pushing fora mid-year rollout of GST. On the other hand, fourth meeting of GST council began in New Delhi in which administrative control and rate structure were the key agendas. Sources told BTVi that Kerala and Delhi are opposed to cess under GST rate structure. Last month, ahead of the meeting, Jaitley said the 4-slab structure of 6, 12, 18 and 26 per cent was under consideration, with lower rates for essential commodities and higher bracket for luxury goods. Explaining the rationale for cess, Jaitley said if the central government has to borrow money to fund states’ compensation, it would add to its liability and increase cost of borrowing for the Centre, state governments and the private sector.
There is a raging debate on the Centre’s proposal for having multiple rates for GST. In a blog post, finance minister Arun Jaitley last week defended the multiple-rate structure citing its inevitability in the present Indian context. He said that “different items used by different segments of society have to be taxed differently”. While the minister cited the example of European Union countries where the comparable value-added tax structure comprises many rates, experts point out that in most other GST/VAT countries, the single-rate system is followed and even others are converging towards this principle.