With the fifth meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council remaining inconclusive as the impasse over the issue of assessee jurisdiction continued, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said he was keeping his fingers crossed."The critical issue is of cross empowerment or dual control. Are we close to a resolution? I will still keep my fingers crossed," he told media persons after the two-day GST Council meeting came to an end here."Logjams are created only to be broken. We will discuss it further on December 11 and 12," he added.With five meetings of the GST Council being held, the issue of dual control or who will exercise control over GST assessees -- the Centre or the states - remains critical."The discussions were held. Two-three suggestions have come of horizontal division of assessees, vertical division and even a suggestion of hybrid of the two," Jaitley said.The Council also could not complete the approval process on the four drafts - Central GST (cGST), State GST (sGST), Integrated GST and State Compensation Law in the meeting.
After the approval from the Council, the cGST needs to be approved by the Parliament while sGST will have to be approved by state legislatures."There were discussions on cGST and sGST. Both the drafts were discussed simultaneously. We have started clause by clause approval of the two. Nine clauses of each have been discussed and the Council is moving towards consensus on these," Jaitley said."It will take a lot of time for the approval (on the drafts), it seems," he added.The approval on the four draft laws will also be on the agenda in the Council's next meeting, he said."We can't have an implementation of GST without resolution of all the issues in the Council. The approach is to reach an agreement with a consensus of all," Jaitley said.He said that the government is still targeting April 1 as the implementation date for the new indirect tax regime."There are not much options. The time option is only between April 1 and September 15," he added.