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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who chaired the GST Council meeting, in New Delhi today.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who chaired the GST Council meeting, in New Delhi today.

GST Council Meeting: No rate hike, vote for single lottery rate

  • The GST Council on Wednesday fixed a uniform tax rate of 28% both state and private lottery
  • Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said the new rate for lottery will come into effect from March 2020

NEW DELHI : The all-powerful GST Council, in its 38th meeting here on Wednesday, voted for uniform rate of 28% on lotteries across the country. Despite pressure to boost revenues amidst a shortfall, the GST Council chose not to tamper with the rates. It was decided to extend the annual date of GSTR 9 filing to January 31, 2020 and waive waive late fee for all taxpayers who have not filed GSTR1 from July 2017 to November 2019.

Updates from 38th meeting of GST Council:

-Non-BJP ruled states said the union government may be headed for a sovereign default as it has refused to assure them of paying on time the GST dues guaranteed to them through a Constitutional amendment.

-Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the Centre should abide by its constitutional responsibility to provide GST compensation dues to state governments in full for five years. "The Centre's taxation measures have impacted states" he said, adding, "Tamil Nadu was one of the best performing states in GST (Goods and Services Tax) collection".

-West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra demanded a complete review of the GST process.

-M S Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, said it is good to see that the rates have been left unchanged as frequent alterations create business difficulties. “The focus on revenue augmentation measures could lead to several anti evasion measures in the coming months as the decision to block ITC in cases of fake invoicing indicates."

-The GST Council also rationalised tax rate on woven and non-woven bags to 18%, Sitharaman said, adding exemption has been given on long-term lease for industrial plots to facilitate setting up of industrial parks.

-Every attempt was made to keep tradition alive but eventually council was reminded that tradition was not part of rulebook. It was not imposed by council or me but on a request from a member-Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on deviating from tradition of not voting in council

-Levy of penalty relaxed for non-filing of GSTR-1 from July 2017: Revenue Secretary after GST Council meeting

-GST Council exempts long term lease on industrial plots to facilitate setting up of industrial parks: Revenue Secretary

-GST Council fixes 28% tax rate on lottery effective March 1, 2020: Revenue Secretary.

-This is the first time since the launch of the new overarching indirect tax that the Council has taken a decision through the voting route.

-During the voting, 21 states voted in favour of a uniform rate

-Sitharaman also attended a pre-budget meeting with different chief ministers and finance ministers today.

-The GST Council is seeking ways to plug revenue leakage, improving the efficiency of the GST system using technology and examine specific steps to augment revenue.

-The GST Council had earlier asked the state governments about their views on reviewing rates and ways to increase tax proceeds.

-Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said raising GST rates is a knee jerk reaction that will affect consumers.

-"Investors are keenly watching the on-going GST council meet, a rate hike is looking unlikely due to a surge in inflation while the focus will be more on revenue realisation," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

-The share markets were in a optimistic mood today, partly led by expectations of an economic boost from the GST meeting. The Sensex hit a record intra-day peak of 41,614.77 before settling 206.40 points up at its all-time closing high of 41,558.57. Similarly, Nifty went up by 56.65 points to its record closing high of 12,221.65.

-The finance ministry is said to have told state governments that this is not the right time for a GST rate hike.

-Chhattisgargh minister T S Singhdeo said GST rate change proposals are unlikely to be discussed at the meeting. Prior to any tax rate changes, revenue realisation should be optimised at existing tax rates by addressing areas of revenue leakage, the minister said.

-Chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the GST Council meeting is being attended by Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and finance ministers of states and union territories. Senior officers from the Union government and states are also part of the meeting.

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