The GST Council is more likely to meet on August 27 to debate the compensation payout to states and the opinion of the Lawyer Common on the legality of market borrowing to satisfy income shortfall. Sources mentioned the forty first assembly of the Items and Companies Tax (GST) Council can be a single agenda assembly on states’ compensation to be held through video conferencing.
Apart from, a full-fledged assembly of the Council can be held on September 19, agenda for which is to be determined in the end, they added.
The Lawyer Common- who’s the chief authorized officer of the federal government – has opined that the Centre has no statutory obligation to make up for any shortfall in GST revenues of states from its coffers , sources had mentioned.
They’d earlier indicated that following the AG’s opinion, states could now have to have a look at market borrowings to satisfy the income shortfall and the GST Council will take a last name.
The Centre had in March sought views from Lawyer Common Ok Ok Venugopal on the legality of market borrowing by the GST Council to make up for any shortfall in compensation fund – a corpus created from levy of further tax on luxurious and sin items to compensate states for income shortfall arising from their taxes being subsumed into GST.
The AG had additionally opined that the Council has to resolve on assembly the shortfall within the GST compensation fund by offering the ample quantity to be credited to the fund.
Sources mentioned the choices earlier than the Council for assembly the shortfall may very well be to rationalize GST charges, cowl extra objects underneath the compensation cess or improve the compensation cess, or advocate greater borrowing by states to be repaid by the longer term assortment into the compensation fund.
Since elevating tax or cess charges won’t be possible within the present pandemic state of affairs, the choice that continues to be is every state borrowing from market in opposition to the consolidated fund of the state. Beneath the GST legislation, states have been assured to be compensated bi-monthly for any lack of income within the first 5 years of the GST implementation from July 1, 2017. The shortfall is calculated assuming a 14 per cent annual progress in GST collections by states over the bottom yr of 2015-16.
Beneath the GST construction, taxes are levied underneath 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs. On prime of the best tax slab, a cess is levied on luxurious, sin and demerit items and the proceeds from the identical are used to compensate states for any income loss.
The GST Council has to resolve tips on how to meet the shortfall in such circumstances and never the central authorities, sources added.
Any borrowing of the central authorities is upon the safety of the Consolidated Fund of India. Equally, borrowing by a state authorities is upon the safety of the consolidated fund of the state. In both case, it could result in elevated basic authorities debt burden and in addition the next fiscal deficit.
The cost of GST compensation to states turned a problem after revenues from the imposition of cess began dwindling since August 2019 and the Centre needed to dive into the surplus cess quantity collected throughout 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The Centre had launched over Rs 1.65 lakh crore in 2019-20 as GST compensation. Nevertheless, the quantity of cess collected throughout the yr 2019-20 was Rs 95,444 crore.
The compensation payout quantity was Rs 69,275 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 41,146 crore in 2017-18.
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