Wednesday , 26 February 2020
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Crucial GST council meeting today

Panaji: Finance ministers and deputy chief ministers of 10-odd states arrived in the state on Thursday for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting being held for the first time in the state.

A preparatory officers meeting took place during the day ahead of the 37th meeting of the GST council on Friday.

The preparatory meeting that started in the early afternoon was a day-long affair. Mauvin Godinho, Transport and Panchayat Minister, who is the nominated member from Goa on the GST Council; Daulat Hawaldar, finance secretary and Dipak Bandekar, commissioner of commercial taxes were present during the meeting.

The GST Council meeting is being chaired by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister who it is learnt will now arrive on Friday morning after initially expected to arrive on Thursday evening. The GST council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the central and state governments on issues related to GST which is the tax reform introduced by the present government on July 1, 2017. The tax reform is aimed at creating a single national market, common tax base and common tax laws for the Centre and states.

The 37th meeting is important as several industries such as automobiles, hospitality, real estate etc are expecting tax cuts to revive demand. However, the government is concerned over improving GST collections to meet its revenue targets for the current financial year.

In August 2019, GST collections stood at Rs 98,202 crore which was a modest increase of 4.5 per cent over the same month of the previous year.

Meanwhile in Goa, the local tourism industry is hoping for lower GST rates on hotels in the state from 28 per cent to 12 per cent. The GCCI has already submitted a memorandum of recommendation  to the GST Council, while the Goa Tax Practitioners Association said that they are looking for the GSTR-9 annual return, to get pushed out completely.

The filing of GSTR-9 is deferred several times but expected to roll out from October 2019. Tax practitioners said that the GSTR-9 form is lengthy and complicated and must be eliminated completely.

The GST Council meeting on Friday is expected to start at 11 pm and will end in the evening.

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