Kerala GST Bill referred to subject committee

Kerala has asked the Centre to reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for 24 items, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac told the Assembly on Tuesday.

It is expected that this demand would be discussed at the GST Council meeting on September 9.

He was replying to the discussion on the Kerala GST Bill moved by him on Tuesday. The Bill was later referred to the subject committee. Kerala has asked for a reduction in GST rates for building materials, houseboat services, Ayurveda products, medicines, and small industries.

The introduction of GST for goods that did not have an excise duty has brought in more tax burden.

However, criticism of the post-GST is often done by ignoring what the tax burden was before GST. Kerala does not approve of the GST in toto but is seeking to mitigate the impact on the people. The House also referred to the subject committee the Motor Vehicles Taxes Amendment Bill moved by Minister Mathew T. Thomas.

Opposition stance

The discussion that preceded the sending of the GST Bill to the subject committee witnessed trenchant criticism of the GST regime. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the Congress supported the GST even though it was introduced without much thinking. Intervening in the debate, K.M.. Mani said the State government did not try to control rising prices before the GST was implemented here.

State move

The State will put pressure on the Union government and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to expedite the setting up of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority aimed at curbing unwarranted price hikes.

The proposed three-tier structure, including the committee, a standing committee on anti-profiteering, and State-level screening committees, can check price hike in the GST regime, Dr.Isaac said, replying to questions on the impact of GST in the Assembly. .

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