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Industry pins high hopes on GST meet in state

Panaji: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is arriving in the state on Thursday (today) evening for the 37th GST council meeting slated on September 20. 

The GST council meeting is being held for the first time in the state and is expected to be attended by about 150 delegates comprising of tax commissioners and finance secretaries of various states as well as senior officials from the central revenue and finance department.

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur is also arriving in the state for the meeting.

On Thursday, a day-long preparatory meeting of officers of tax commissioners and finance secretaries will be held where discussions will be held on the agenda for the meeting. The preparatory meeting will see presentations by 15 finance commissioners and is a standard practice prior to every GST council meeting.

The preparatory meeting is likely to take up around 23 items on the agenda of which some are regular council matters while others are special items such as filing of returns, changes in law, compensation to states, revenue sharing, etc.

“On both the days, the meetings will start at 11 am and continue till evening,” said Deepak Bandekar, commissioner of commercial taxes, to ‘The Navhind Times’. Post the GST council meeting on Friday, the Finance Minister is expected to brief the media before departing from the state.  

The 37th GST council meeting is important because various industries such as automobiles, hospitality and real estate are seeking tax cuts to boost demand. The Goan hospitality industry is also seeking lower GST rates on hotels in the state from 28 per cent to 12 per cent.

Mauvin Godinho, a member of the GST council, who is also the Minister for Transport and Panchayats, disclosed that all eyes are on the first-ever GST council meeting being held in Goa as there are several important issues to be discussed, including the reduction in rates. “The meeting has a vast agenda and will be remembered forever as good decisions are likely to be reached,” said Godinho.

“I am expecting right decisions in the meeting which will help to generate revenue for both central and state governments, which can be utilised for carrying out developmental works,” he added.

GST collections in August 2019 at Rs 98,202 crore, showed only a slight growth of 4.5 per cent over the same month in 2018. The government is aiming for monthly collection of over Rs one lakh crore for 2019-20.

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