GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the panel on the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), said the rates on over 200 daily-use items are expected to come down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent at the GST Council meet tomorrow.

The Andhra Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu has made a fervent appeal to the council to reduce the GST burden on agri products and also for relief to the TTD which is spending most of its revenue on devotee welfare and for Hindu religion promotion.

"There is a need to look at bringing real estate sector within GST while balancing the needs of autonomy of states to levy stamp duty and property taxes and also keeping agricultural lands and old buildings outside the GST", said Badal.

Noting with concern that GST returns had dropped in September to 46.4 per cent from 58 per cent in the preceding month in Bihar, Sushil Modi said "directions have been issued to conduct a survey and find out what are the problems that businessmen may be facing".

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The GST Council will meet on November 9 and 10 in Assam's capital Guwahati. "We have been gradually bringing them down. So far, tax rates have been slashed on more than 100 items", Modi said. "The whole idea is, as your revenue collections neutralises we must prune it", he had said.

The GoM has also suggested doing away with the tax rate distinction between AC and non-AC restaurants not covered under the composition scheme, and tax them at 12 per cent with input credit. The Council has last month approved an approach paper to be followed by the fitment committee while deciding on future rate revisions.

The Council may allow quarterly return filing for all taxpayers with a monthly tax payment. The GST Council may also announce new incentives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in order to encourage digital transactions.

In a bid to promote digital payments under GST, the Council could also consider incentivising merchants and traders by providing benefits in terms of credit or exemption within central and state GST. Currently, traders have to file returns in GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 along with one annual return. The turnover threshold for composition scheme, under which businesses can pay taxes at a nominal rate, has been hiked to Rs 1 crore, from Rs 75 lakh earlier.

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