NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the GST Council -governing body on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will meet for the last time ahead of Union Budget, to be presented on February 1. This is the 24th meeting of the council
The decisions that are to be made in the meeting will bear significance since the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cannot tweak indirect tax rates in the upcoming budget. Hence, the government will look to provide relief in various sectors through this meeting.
The declining revenue collection from GST has been a matter of concern since the November collection came at Rs 80,808 crore, an all-time low since the roll out of the new tax regime on July 1. The council is expected to deliberate on the collections so far ahead of the Union Budget and respective state budgets.
Roll out of e-way bills:
At the last meeting of the GST council on December 16, it had fixed February 1 as the compliance date for inter-state movement of goods. An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. When goods are transported for less than 10 km within a state, the supplier or the transporter need not furnish details on the GST portal. The e-way bill mechanism has been introduced in the GST regime to plug tax evasion loopholes. Ironing out the implementation of e-way bill will be on agenda in the meeting.
The GST council is expected to do away with multiple return forms under GST by combining some forms. The council may combine the GSTR-1 ,2 and 3 forms under one single form for small traders and taxpayers eligible under the composition scheme.
Some media reports suggest that a handful of items may see rate cut. The government’s push towards clean energy may translate to trimming of rates on e-vehicles. Irrigation equipment may also see a rate cut, with the finance minister repeatedly stressing on providing relief to the agriculture sector in the upcoming budget.
Bringing real estate under the ambit of GST has been a long-standing matter of discussion. The GST council is expected to take up a presentation to look into the modalities of the matter.