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GST Council Meet Live Updates: Nirmala Sitharaman addresses first press conference as Finance Minister

GST Council Meet Live Updates: The all-powerful GST Council decided to extend the tenure of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) for a period of two years, whereas rate cuts for electric vehicles has been sent to fitment committee.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: June 21, 2019  | 18:53 IST
GST Council Meet Live Updates: Nirmala Sitharaman addresses first press conference as Finance Minister
GST Council Meet Live Updates: The GST Council also decided to use Aadhaar for GSTN registration

GST Council Meet Live Updates: Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman chaired her first GST Council meeting today. Sitharaman replaced Arun Jaitley as new FM under the Modi 2.0 government as he decided to opt out on health grounds. Speculations were rife that the Council in its 35th meeting under the new FM would consider slashing Goods and Service Tax (GST) on electric vehicles to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. However, the Council did not reduce the tax rate and said the matter would be forwarded to the fitment committee for further consideration.

Other topics that were discussed during the GST Council meeting were tax evasion issue, extension of the tenure of the National Anti-profiteering Authority, electronic invoices system, the revenue position of states, the new return filing system, setting up an appellate tribunal for north-eastern states and another one for all Union Territories (UTs).

Also Read: 1st GST Council Meet under Modi 2.0: EVs may see tax cut, anti-profiteering body to get extension

Catch all the latest updates on the details of the GST Council meet on our live blog.

6:25 pm: The matter of rate cuts for electric vehicles sent to fitment committee for further consideration.

6:20 pm: E-ticketing for multiplexes made compulsory.

6:17 pm: A new single GST return form for all will be rolled out in January 2020.

6:15 pm: The tenure of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) extended for two years, and the penalty provision has been made more stringent.

6:12 pm: GST Council agrees to use Aadhaar for registration to the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).

4.20 pm: GST Council has much more work to do, says FM

In her Opening Remarks, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman further said that GST Council has many more work to do including simplification of GST Rules, rationalisation of GST rates &bringing more items in the ambit of GST among others.

4.15 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman praises GST Council for tremendous work done since it came into being

In her Opening Remarks at the 35th GST Council Meeting, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that GST Council has done tremendous work since it's inception in post-Independence era of the country.

3:29 pm: 35th Goods and Service Tax (GST) council meeting begins. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the meeting for the first time after assuming the office.

1.20 pm: In the end, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought the cooperation of all the States & Union Territories in achieving the aspirations of the people at large & extended full cooperation from her side in achieving the desired goals.

1.10 pm: The Union Finance Minister said that the share of the States in tax devolution has increased from 32% under 13th Finance Commission to 42% in 14th Finance Commission during the first tenure of the present Government

1.05 pm: In her Opening Remarks, the FM said that unprecedented level of devolution of funds has taken place from Centre to the States which has increased in recent times from Rs.8,29,344 Crore to Rs.12,38,274 Crore

1.00 pm: The FM further said that the Centre has the responsibility of setting the direction of the economic growth while it's the responsibility of the States to implement in the field.

12.55 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman chairs pre-budget consultation meet, minutes of the discussion:-

In her Opening Remarks at the Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting,the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that no goals can be achieved if States and the Centre don't work together in cohesion.

12.34 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman held pre-budget meeting with Finance Ministers of all states Friday Morning

Ahead of her first GST Council meet today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday held a pre-budget meeting with the FMs of all states. The meeting was called to hold discussions and invite suggestions on crucial inclusions to be made in the Union Budget 2020 (to be presented on July 5). This would be Sitharaman's first Budget presentation after she took charge of the Finance Minister from Arun Jaitley who opted out of the new government due to health concerns.

11.45 am: The GST Council meet to be attended by State/UTs FMs, Senior ministry officials

The Union Finance Minister, Smt. @nsitharaman to chair the 35th GST Council Meeting in New Delhi today which will be attended by the Finance Ministers of States/UTs & Senior Officers of the Ministry of Finance & State Govts among others.

11.36 am: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to hold the half-day meeting at 2 pm after the pre-budget meeting in New Delhi

11.20 am: GST Council may remove more items from the 28 per cent slab

Amid concerns of an economic slowdown, the first GST Council meeting under the re-elected Modi government may look at further pruning the highest tax slab of 28 per cent, which currently comprises 28 goods. In December, the council had cut rates on 23 items effective January 1, 2019 , including seven from the top bracket leaving mainly luxury and sin goods - apart from automobiles and cement - in that category.

11.15 am: GST council to discuss proposal to levy GST on extra-neutral alcohol on June 21

The GST Council is likely to extend till 30 November 2020 the tenure of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), which deals with customer complaints regarding not receiving tax cut benefits, at its next meeting on 21 June, an official said.

The Council at its 35th meeting, the first under new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is also likely to consider a proposal to set up one appellate tribunal for north-eastern states, and another one for all Union Territories.

Besides, the Council would discuss a proposal to levy Goods and Services Tax (GST) on extra-neutral alcohol (ENA), which is used for manufacturing alcoholic liquor for human consumption, the official added.

11.05 am: AGENDA: SINGLE POINT REFUND SYSTEM

The council will also discuss setting up a single point refund system and a mechanism for businesses to issue e-invoices.

AGENDA: DRAFT AMENDMENT BILL (GST)

The Council is also likely to look at and approve a draft amendment bill to bring changes in GST law to allow businesses to rectify mistakes during payment of GST and applicability of interest only on cash component in case of delayed payment of GST. Disscussion on mechanism for single point sanctioning and processing GST refunds will also take place in the meeting.

AGENDA: GST ON LOTTERY

The Council will also consider tweaking GST rate on lottery. An 8-member group of state finance ministers could not reach a consensus on whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system be continued. Currently, a state-organised lottery attracts 12 per cent GST, while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax.

AGENDA: SINGLE-POINT PROCESSING OF GST REFUNDS

A mechanism for single-point sanctioning and processing GST refunds will be discussed, the current mechanism entails twin refund sanctioning authority of the central and state tax officers but that could well change by August when the proposed new structure involving a single authority comes in place.

AGENDA: TO GIVE ELECTRIC VEHICLE MANUFACTURING A PUSH

To give a push to manufacturing electric vehicles, the Council will consider slashing GST rates to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28 per cent plus cess.

10.50 am: AGENDA: CHECKING GST EVASION

The council at its 35th meeting under the new FM will hold deliberations on ways to increase vigilance and to accord appropriate punishment for defaulters. For the same discussions will be held on extending the tenure of the national anti-profiteering authority (NAA) by a year till November 2020. The authority which came into existence on November 30, 2017, after its Chairman B N Sharma assumed charge still continues to receive consumer complaints of profiteering against companies. So far, the NAA has passed 67 orders in various cases. Along with NAA extension, a proposal of integrating e-way bill with NHAI's FASTag mechanism from April 1, 2020 will also be put forth.

Such an integration would help find the location of the vehicle and when and how many times it has crossed NHAI's toll plazas and restrict transporters from doing multiple trips by generating a single e-way bill. Transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 would be required to present an e-way bill during transit to a GST inspector, if asked. Reports suggest that lack of harmonisation under the 'track and trace' mechanism in terms of sharing information among different agencies is leading to misuse of e-way bill.

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