GST Council may give tax cut on a host of goods

GST Council may give tax cut on a host of goods

A host of goods such as textiles, handloom, sanitary napkins, bamboo flooring, urea imported for direct agricultural use and certain services related to hotels and restaurants and small artisans are expected to be cheaper as the GST Council in its meeting on Saturday may cut rates.

But a decision on inclusion of natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) may have to wait longer as the agenda for the 28th GST Council meeting accessed by DH does not mention the two items.

The Council is expected to take up the issue of simplification of returns filed by the traders. Sources privy to the development said there could be only one return per month for traders in place of existing three.

Besides, the Council will take up the recommendation of Group of Ministers on digital payments and sugar cess. Recently the GoM under GST on digital payments headed by Bihar deputy Chief minister Sushil Modi had said incentivising digital transactions might raise government's revenues in future but at present there was a fear of an estimated loss of Rs 12,000 to exchequer due to that.

Modi had said he would recommend to the GST Council to defer the plan in digital incentives till revenues stabilise further. There was a proposal to give an across the board 2% rebate on digital payments up to Rs 2,000 and a discount of up to Rs 100 on every digital transaction.
Similarly, the GoM headed by Assam Finance Minister Hemanta Kumar Biswas has rejected the food ministry's proposal to impose a cess on sugar.

Fresh concessions may also be announced for labour intensive export sector in the wake of the sector reeling under problems including backlog in GST refunds. In additions to that, the Council will discuss reports of committees on a levy on lottery, Integrated GST, creating an ecosystem for seamless road transport connectivity, and reverse charge mechanism.

The expectations of rate cut have increased after revenues under GST yielded a growth of around 12% in the past one year. The average monthly collection under the GST has been close to Rs 90,000 crore. In April, collections touched a record Rs 1.03 lakh crore.

The meeting will be chaired by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.