NEW DELHI : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 36th meeting of the GST Council through videoconferencing in Delhi today. This will be the first GST Council meeting after the Union Budget was placed before the parliament in July 5 and Sitharaman's second one.

Among other issues, the GST Council is expected to announce its decision on lowering tax rates for electric vehicles, solar power projects and rationalisation of GST rates on lottery.

GST rates on Electric vehicles:

After having announced several sops for the electric vehicle (EV) sector including income tax exemption and reduction in custom duties for certain components, the government is now expected to push for a GST rate cut on EVs from 12% to 5%.

The issue of GST rate cut on EVs was earlier sent to a rate fitment committee to a rate fitment committee, whose recommendations are likely to be placed before the council tomorrow.

The Modi government wants to encourage domestic manufacturing of e-vehicles. FM Sitharaman had also said in her Budget speech that the government wants to develop India as a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and want to encourage their purchase.

GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28% plus cess.

Industry body Ficci has said rationalisation of GST rates for electric vehicles will provide a big boost to the sector.

GST rates on lottery:

The GST Council is also likely to look at the issue of taxation of lotteries. At present, there are two rates of GST on lottery. A 12% GST is levied on lottery run by state government and 28% GST is levied on lotteries authorised by state government.

The GST Council had earlier constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into various issues relating to GST on lottery. In its last meting, the council had sought legal opinion from the Attorney General on the issue.

The GST body is likely to consider the advise of the Attorney General and take a final decision on rationalising GST rates on lottery.

Last GST Council meeting:

The last meeting of the GST Council was held on June 21 where the last date for filing of GST returns for FY 2017-18 was extended by two months to August 2019.

It had also approved the use of Aadhaar by businesses to register with GST Network (GSTN) and the imposition of a penalty of up to 10% on entities not passing on benefits of GST rate cuts to consumers.

In the meantime, several industry bodies have demanded that the GST Council should expand GST to all other sectors.

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