GST Council to consider more tax relief requests after July 1 | business-news | Hindustan Times
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GST Council to consider more tax relief requests after July 1

The GST Council may consider further tax relief requests after protests staged by textile traders, road builders, furniture makers and diamond merchants over the applicable tax rates and the compliance requirement.

business Updated: Jul 06, 2017 09:58 IST
Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Union finance minister  Arun Jaitley briefs a press conference after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley briefs a press conference after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI )

The goods and services Tax (GST) Council will consider more requests for relief on GST rates and compliance requirement from businesses and traders after the rollout of the nation’s biggest indirect tax reform on 1 July.

The Council’s readiness to consider further requests for relief comes in the wake of protests being staged by textile traders, road builders, furniture makers and diamond merchants over the applicable tax rates and the compliance requirement. The Council had on June 11 lowered the GST rates on 66 items and widened the scope of a concessional tax payment scheme for small businesses and restaurants.

The Council, which is to meet on June 30, is unlikely to alter tax rates or other structural features of GST before the midnight roll out of the tax reform, but a GST implementation committee (GIC) led by revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been set up to tackle emergencies, a person privy to the discussions in the Council said on condition of anonymity. While the Council members are open to looking into the merits of requests for concessions, they do not want last minute changes which affects the preparedness of tax payers.

GIC, which has officials from central and state governments, and the Council will take decisions in case of an emergency and will subsequently place them before the Council for ratification. Monday’s decision to defer enforcing the provisions for collecting tax at source by e-commerce firms from payments to be made to merchants using these platforms is one such decision. This, the person said, will be placed before the Council at its Friday meeting.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday at a briefing on Union cabinet decisions that the Council always worked with an open mind. “The Council has set up its own processes (for considering representations on merits). It has always shown openness,” the minister said.

Central and state governments are now in the process of notifying the tax rates already finalised in previous meetings of the Council.

(Komal Gupta contributed to this story)