Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a virtual press briefing at 12.45 pm on Friday to announce the outcomes of the 40th GST Council meeting held earlier in the day.
"Finance Minister Smt. Nsitharaman to hold a virtual media briefing on the outcomes of the 40th GST Council meeting at 12:45 PM in New Delhi today," tweeted the Finance Ministry.
The GST Council members discussed several issues via the over one-hour videoconferencing meet for the first time post the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Finance Minister chaired the meeting which was expected to discuss the impact of coronavirus-induced lockdown on tax revenues of states and likely decide on the compensation payout framework to states. The topics likely to have been discussed during the meeting were revenue augmentation and waiver of late fee for the period from August 2017 to January 2020, review GST compliance data, etc.
There may also not be any GST rate cut announcement as it can be a hindrance to the much-needed funds in state government's coffers.
In the previous council meeting held on March 14, 2020, FM Sitharaman had said that the Centre will look into the legality of GST Council borrowing from market to meet the compensation requirements.
With states raising the issue of shortfall in compensation kitty, there were discussions on resorting to market borrowing to meet the revenue guarantee to states.
Under GST law, states were guaranteed to be paid for any loss of revenue in the first five years of the GST implementation from July 1, 2017.
The shortfall is calculated assuming a 14 per cent annual growth in GST collections by states over the base year of 2015-16.
Under the GST structure, taxes are levied under 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs. On top of the highest tax slab, a cess is levied on luxury, sin and demerit goods and the proceeds from the same are used to compensate states for any revenue loss.