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GST Council to discuss states compensation, review tax structure

GST Tax Structure

Source: India Today

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is likely to meet soon to discuss the compensation paid to states for the loss of revenue after the implementation of GST. The Council might also take up the issue of tax structure for a limited review. The apex indirect tax body may meet either by the end of February or early March before the Parliament re-convenes after a recess.

A person familiar with the discussions between the central and state government officials said that the meeting will review suggestions related to the restructuring of GST sent by various quarters. The person added that this will further depend on what gets cleared by different panels of officials who are currently examining the matter. The Finance Minister has already cautioned against frequent changes to GST rates and suggested to revise tax rates once a year.

GST Council to meet by the end of February or early March

The schedule of the proposed GST Council meeting will depend on the travel commitments of the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently holding post-budget interactions with stakeholders in various cities. On Sunday, she interacted with industry executives in Hyderabad. According to a second official, the finance minister’s caution against frequent changes to GST rates means that it is mandatory for the GST Council to announce rate changes at every meeting.

However, the GST Council will still take up issues that are important to be addressed like making decisions that increase revenue collection. The second official also added that the Centre favours increasing GST cess on select goods which will then help to mobilize resources for compensating states for the shortfall in GST mop-up. According to FY21 budget documents, the Centre expects to collect ₹98,327 crores from cess by 31 March. Furthermore, the budget has scaled down the estimate of GST mop-up for FY20 by 10% compared to the projection made at the start of the fiscal.

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