GST Council Meet Gets Underway in Guwahati, Congress Protests

Centre looking at bringing realty, power under GST

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. It is also expected to simplify compliances for small and medium enterprises as well as large businesses.

Incentivising payments settled electronically under the Goods and Services Tax and slashing rates on over 160 of the 227 items falling in top slab of 28 per cent GST rate to 18 per cent are some of the major proposals set to come up before the all-powerful GST Council as it begins its two-day meet in Assam's capital Guwahati today. We are hopeful that the suggestions provided by various trade bodies will be incorporated in the GST during the upcoming council meeting", Sobhapandit said.Sobhapandit added, "Various trade bodies have provided a number of recommendations so that doing business becomes easier and user-friendly under the new tax regime. The GST Council has been meeting every month since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime came into effect on July1. Jaitley had said that the objective is to tweak GST rates to achieve the flawless balance of taxes and ease and affordability for consumers. Wooden furniture is handmade by unorganised sector artisans and is mostly used by middle class families and there have been demands for lowering tax incidence on them. Currently, non-AC restaurants are taxed at 18 per cent. "But we find that a lot of items of mass consumption are also in the 28% slab", he said. At present, while manufacturers pay GST at 2 per cent, the rate for restaurants is 5 per cent. Traders now pay 1 per cent.

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal told reporters in Guwahati that all Congress party-ruled states are unanimous that tax rates have to be rationalised, glitches in the IT system supporting GST have to be fixed and discussions on inclusion of real estate, electricity and select hydrocarbons in GST have to be started.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said if there is consensus at the next GST council meeting due over November 9 to November 10, the government would take the necessary steps to help traders and strengthen the country's economy.

GST, a single tax that subsumed as many as 43 taxes and cesses, was rolled out on July 1.

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