The goods and services tax (GST) Council on Thursday approved two crucial Bills -- State and Union Territory GST -- paving the way for tabling of the GST Bills in the current session of Parliament and respective state assemblies and introduction of the new indirect taxation system from July.
The Council has already cleared Central GST (CGST) and integrated GST (IGST) Bills and the Compensation legislation.
The Council also approved an enabling provision for higher tax ceiling of 20% under the SGST Bill and along with similar provision in the CGST Bill, the peak rate could be raised up to 40% in aggregate in the future against 28% prescribed as of now.
For now the four tax slabs will remain the same at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
The fitment relating to item-wise GST rates will now be worked by a committee of officers. It will also decide a cess on luxury and demerit items- luxury cars, aerated drinks, tobacco-- to compensate states for any loss of revenue from implementation of GST in the first five years
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will try to get Parliament approval for GST laws 'expeditiously'.
Supporting GST laws will now be taken to the Cabinet and then to Parliament for approval, FM said.
"Tax rates for various goods and services to be taken up after framing of rules and hopefully GST will be implemented from July 1," the FM said at a press conference after the Council meeting.
For the purpose of empowerment, cap of cess on demerit goods on top of peak rate of GST has been kept at 15%, he said.
Source :  Business Standard