GST Council fixes exemption limit for GST at Rs 20 lakh

New Delhi: In its first set of decisions, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Friday fixed the turnover-based exemption limit from such levies at Rs 20 lakh, but left the decision on fixing the actual tax rates and the finalisation of draft rules for later.

Briefing the media after the two-day, maiden meeting of the apex decision-making body on the new indirect tax regime, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the council also decided that exemption for assessees in the northeastern region and hill states will be Rs 10 lakh.

The Finance Minister, who is also chairman of the council, said the jurisdiction over assessees with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore and below will solely be with the states and for those above, it will be jointly with the central and state governments.

The council is scheduled to reconvene onSeptember 30 and again from October 17-19.

"We will try to finalise the rates and the slabs during our meeting on October 17, 18 and 19," said the Finance Minister on a matter that has widely divergent views among the states and the Centre.

"All existing cesses will be subsumed in GST," he said, even as officials added that the draft rules and the model laws could be taken up on September 30.