GST Council meeting: Key proposals to be discussed today

Relief on Covid drugs may be extended, some states may oppose any move to bring petrol, diesel under GST regime
The Council may also take up for discussion a proposal for GST relaxation or zero tax on certain items. (Representative image)
The Council may also take up for discussion a proposal for GST relaxation or zero tax on certain items. (Representative image)
Published on Sep 17, 2021 12:46 AM IST
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ByUmesh Raghuvanshi, Lucknow

The GST Council, chaired by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is likely to discuss several key proposals, including extending till December 31 the tax concessions on 11 Covid drugs and compensation to states for making up the Goods and Services Tax shortfall, at its 45th meeting in Lucknow on Friday.

It may also consider a proposal to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime but some states, including Kerala, are likely to oppose any such move.

One of the proposals that the Council may also take up for discussion is GST relaxation or zero tax on certain items.

“Yes, the Kerala government will oppose the move to bring petrol and diesel under GST regime. We will also ask to extend the GST compensation for another five years,” Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal said on the eve of the meeting.

A preparatory meeting of senior officers of the Central government and different states was held here on Thursday to hold preliminary discussions to assist the GST Council on key issues.

A person aware of the developments about the GST Council meeting said, “We understand the GST Council is going to discuss the issue of bringing petrol and diesel under the GST regime in view of Kerala high court’s directives to it in this regard. Some states want discussion on compensation for making up for GST shortfall beyond June 2022. The GST relaxation on certain items, including health related items, may also come up for discussions at the meeting.”

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who holds charge of his state’s finance department, on Thursday said the state government was against any move to encroach upon the state’s rights to levy taxes and would put forth its view in the GST Council meeting on Friday, according to a news agency report.

Replying to questions on the petrol-diesel issue, Pawar said to reporters the Centre was free to levy taxes, but “what is under the state’s jurisdiction should not be touched”.

For its part, the Union finance ministry tweeted. “Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman will chair the 45th GST Council meeting at 11 AM in Lucknow tomorrow. The meeting will be attended by MOS Shri @mppchaudhary besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and Senior officers from Union Government & States.”

To curb tax evasion, the proposal to make the food delivery platforms liable to pay GST on restaurant services supplied through them may also be considered by the Council.

Once approved by the GST Council, food delivery apps will have to collect and deposit GST with the government, in place of restaurants, for deliveries made by them. There would be no extra tax burden on the end consumer.

Asked about the discussions at the GST Council meeting, two senior officers from different states said the issues on which a consensus had been evolved may be raised at the meeting.

Another person aware of the development said the issue of automatic GST refund facility and allowing PAN-based authentication may also come up for discussion. There are indications that the issue of GST on brick kilns and ‘paan gutkha’ may also be raised at the meeting.

Union minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary and deputy chief ministers and ministers nominated by different states as members to the GST Council by different states will participate in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party Vyapar Sabha vice president Pawan Manocha, in a press statement, said GST that was introduced as one nation one tax should be strictly implemented and Mandi Tax being imposed by many states should be abolished while the petrol and diesel should be brought under the purview of GST regime.

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