Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is keeping his fingers crossed about sticking to the April 1, 2017 target to implement the Goods and Services Tax regime. The GST Council he heads meets again on December 11-12 to try to reach a consensus on three pieces of legislation that need to be cleared by Parliament in this session for a rollout in April. In its previous three meetings, the Council failed to resolve an impasse between the States and the Centre on who would have administrative control over taxpayers in the new tax regime. The Finance Ministry has proposed a dual control model where both vertically split the taxpayer base for administrative purposes. But States including West Bengal, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh are keen to retain control over all goods and services providers with an annual turnover of less than Rs.1.5 crore. At the last meeting, the States hardened their position by flagging the loss of revenue on account of the demonetisation of high value currency notes.

While the Council is yet to discuss the legislation that deals with compensation for loss of revenue, it has gone over nine chapters each of the two other proposed laws that Parliament needs to pass to ring in the GST, including the model GST law. For a rapprochement with States on these bills, the Centre may have to be more generous in responding to their demands. It could also resort to a vote for the first time in the Council instead of seeking to forge unanimous decisions. Parliament is expected to function for just three days next week. Unless its schedule is extended, with the currency crisis stalling proceedings so far, the GST’s April timeline is looking increasingly tricky. It is true that the government is likely to push the three GST bills as Money bills, so they only need a Lok Sabha nod, and the GST regime can kick in as late as September 2017. But implementing such a big-ticket tax reform without bringing all States on board or getting the new regime going in the middle of a financial year would inspire less confidence than otherwise. It would also be a headache for industry as well as the taxman. Opposition-ruled States, on their part, must resist the temptation to derail the tax reform, and work to ensure that the fine print actually boosts investor sentiment. For instance, there is a proposal to set up an anti-profiteering authority that could penalise businesses if they are deemed to have not transmitted GST benefits to consumers. Just as States should compete for investment, businesses should be allowed to compete freely. Suggesting that the profit motive itself is evil would undo the fundamental intent of the GST, which is to remove the space for discretion and rent-seeking.

Source : THE HINDU


1. Consensus (noun) (आम सहमति) – a general agreement
Synonyms – consent, unity
Antonyms – denial, refusal
Ex: The teacher asked the group to reach a consensus on who would present their data to the class.

2. Impasse (noun) (गतिरोध)– a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement, a deadlock
Synonyms – gridlock, plight
Antonyms – solution, agreement
Ex: The jury ended in an impasse when the members could not break a tie vote on the defendant’s guilt.

3. Regime (noun) (शासन)– a government, especially an authoritarian one
Synonyms – administration, management
Ex: In order to build muscle and lose fat, a weight lifter must follow a rigorous regime composed of intense workouts and a strict diet.

4. Retain (verb) (बनाए रखने के)– continue to have (something), keep possession of
Synonyms – absorb, maintain
Ex: Since I have poor memory recall, it is hard for me to retain lecture notes.

5. Rapprochement (noun) (मेल-जोल– (especially in international affairs) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations
Synonyms – detente, harmony
Antonyms – trouble, upset
Ex: It seemed to them that it was as though to bring about a rapprochementbetween them.

6. Forge (verb) (हठ)– make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and hammering it
Synonyms – produce, fabricate
Antonyms – be original, destroy
Ex: Zack used a lot of strength to forge the two metal pieces for his class project.

7. Unanimous (adjective) (एकमत) – (of two or more people) fully in agreement
Synonyms – consistent, solid
Antonyms – divided, split
Ex: Because the jury could not reach a unanimous decision, the case will be retried.

8. Temptation (noun) (प्रलोभन) – the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise
Synonyms – allurement, appeal
Antonyms – dislike, hatred
Ex: The temptations of life in London.

9. Derail (verb) (पटरी से उतरने) – obstruct (a process) by diverting it from its intended course
Synonyms – crash, wreck
Antonyms – assist, forward
Ex: Since significant damage was done to the tracks, the train would derail if it passed over the damage.

10. Discretion (noun) (विवेक) – the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing confidential information
Synonyms – attention, calculation
Antonyms – disregard, ignorance
Ex: Medicines will be given out to students at the nurse’s discretion.

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