The Goods and Services Tax Council met on Saturday and discussed the draft Central Goods and Services Tax and interstate trade of goods and services, reported ANI. However, the Council failed to reach consensus over the issue of assessee jurisdiction between the Centre and the states. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Council also discussed deomonetisation because the states wanted to talk about it, but it was held separately. ”States suggested to allow some flexibility,” he said.

Jaitley said the Council has received a few suggestions from the state finance ministers on the critical issue of cross empowerment during Saturday’s meeting. The Union minister said the next meeting on December 11-12 would focus on the completion of approval of the drafts, and take up cross empowerment law.

“Are we close to resolve this issue? I will keep my fingers crossed. Once this issue is resolved, would consider it a done deal,” Jaitley said. He said he was optimistic about having all parties on board in the next meeting. “States and Centre since we are not going on division should not be divided on party lines,” Jaitley said, adding that such division would undermine the government’s efforts to reach a consensus through deliberated democracy.

The last few meetings held by the Council have been inconclusive as well. The Council has yet to reach a decision on how the Centre and states would divide the authority on implementing the new indirect tax regime.

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.