GST Council Meeting: What are the expectations?

The 38th GST Council meeting is being held on December 18, 2019, Wednesday. It will be chaired by our Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and is being conducted at New Delhi. Ahead of the GST meet today, speculations regarding the increase in GST rates and slabs have been making the rounds.

Besides the agenda of the meeting, the Council will also review GST and compensation cess rates on various commodities, rate calibrations for addressing the inverted duty structure, and compliance measures. A few pointers to look forward to before the meet:

•Delay by the Central Government in paying off its states with the compensation cess over the past four months will top the agenda for this GST Council meeting.

•The Central GST collection fell short of the union budget estimate by nearly 40% during April-November 2019, according to government data.

•The GST Council is expected to correct the inverted tax structure in this meeting. It includes fabric bags, solar modules, railway locomotives, fertilizers, and steel utensils (output tax rate ranging between 5-12%) in whose cases the inputs taxes are usually at 18%.

•The government is looking to balance revenue collections between states and the Centre besides ironing out problems faced by a few industries.

•The government is also set to rationalize GST rates for lotteries, which currently contend with two different rates. Those run by state governments attract 12% GST while those authorized by them and sold outside the state are taxed at 28%.


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