Desirable to rollout GST from Sept 1: J&K Finance Minister

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It is desirable to rollout Goods and Services Tax from September 1, said Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu. After the GST Council meeting, which approved key GST legislations, he told Dilasha Seth that states should get at least six months’ time to prepare for GST and iron out operational challenges.

The GST bills have been approved by the Council. What are your views?

Three key bills, CGST, SGST and IGST stand passed by the Council. Hopefully in due course of next week the finance minister will take it to the Parliament. By March 31 it is expected that all the rules are finalised to be notified.

How comfortable are you with a July 1 GST rollout?

While it is possible to rollout GST from July 1, it is desirable to implement it from September 1.

Why do you feel so?

That’s because states should have enough time to know the rules. We still do not know the rules. There are a lot of operational difficulties. The IT system needs to have a dummy run. A good six months time will actually help. So I personally feel that September 1 is a good time to roll out GST.

What is the idea behind a 15 per cent cess on luxury cars and aerated drinks?

The 15 per cent cess is essentially an enabling provision that has been put in the law. The intention at the moment is to keep it at 40 per cent, with 28 per cent GST rate and 12 per cent cess. As we know that cess has been put in place to compensate states. Therefore, 15 per cent an enabling provision has been created so that there is no need to go to 28 legislatures to revise it upwards by one per cent.

When is J&K expected to pass the legislation in the assembly?

Our powers to taxation come from Section 5 of the Constitution. Since the template is there for CGST, SGST annd IGST, we will get these passed in the state assembly. It will convene shortly.

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