The sixth meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council began in Delhi on Sunday, with the Centre and the states looking to finalise three draft laws – the central Goods and Services Tax, the integrated GST and the compensation for states, IANS reported. The Narendra Modi-led central government has been pushing for the resolution of all outstanding matters on the tax regime in order to roll it out by its proposed deadline of April 1, 2017.

The Centre and the states are also expected to continue discuss the issue of assessee jurisdiction – an issue on which the GST Council failed to reach a consensus during its last meeting on December 2-3. While Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has expressed hope in having all such issues resolved, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said it was unlikely for the tax regime to be implemented by its proposed deadline. Isaac, who is a member of the Council, on Friday had said the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 had “vitiated the whole atmosphere”.

“Discussions in the GST Council have been cordial, in a spirit of consensus and Parliament had passed the Bill unanimously,” Isaac said. “Now there is no such general atmosphere, Parliament is divided...Demonetisation is a big strike on the revenues of the states, and in Kerala, we are estimating our revenues to decline by 40% from [the] impact of demonetisation,” he added. The discontinuation of the high-value currency was discussed at the Council’s last meeting.

The GST Bill got President Pranab Mukherjee’s approval on September 8, after being ratified by 16 states. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on August 3. It seeks to replace India’s complicated tax regime comprising 17 different charges with a single levy.