GST Council meeting: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 43rd GST Council meet today after a gap of almost eight months amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
GST Council Meet underway: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 43rd good and services tax (GST) council meeting on Friday, May 28, through video conferencing. According to the Ministry of Finance, the meeting is attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, along with the finance ministers and the senior officials of the states and union territories. The meeting is likely to hold discussions on states seeking a cut in GST rates on the essential COVID-related supplies such as medicines, vaccines, etc.
Besides discussions on the tax rates, the GST Council is also expected to discuss the compensation shortfall to the states amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Finance announced that Ms Sitharaman will address a media briefing today at 7 pm (tentatively) to discuss the outcomes of the 43rd GST council meet.
Finance Ministers of States & UTs and Senior officers from Union Government & States are also present in the meeting. pic.twitter.com/qMRVyFZCWi
— Office of Mr. Anurag Thakur (@Anurag_Office) May 28, 2021
The GST council meet today is held by the authorities after a gap of almost eight months. The previous meeting – the 42nd GST Council meet, was conducted last year, on October 5, 2020. At its last meeting, the Council decided the extension of levying of compensation cess beyond the transition period of five years for the states, in order to meet the revenue gap. The central government also announced that the shortfall amount was increased to Rs 1.10 lakh crores from Rs 97,000 crores under the borrowing option.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that 21 states chose the first borrowing option for compensation of revenue shortfall due to the GST implementation. Ms Sitharaman had clarified that the central government is not denying compensation to any state but those states which have not chosen any borrowing option, will have to borrow from the market.
Recently, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal in a letter written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked the central government to consider the GST exemption on essential COVID-related related items such as face masks hand sanitisers, gloves, temperature scanners, PPE Kits, oximeters, ventilators, and other such essential medical supplies.
The GST Council is the statutory body that takes decisions regarding the issues of threshold limit for the applicability of the tax, and the limit for dual control between the central government and the states.