Crucial GST Council Meet Begins in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The day-long meeting of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council, presided over by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, began today amidst tight security in the Hyderabad International Convention Centre at Madhapur near here.

The meeting, attended by 160 delegates, including Finance Ministers of States and government officials is significant in more than one way as it will constitute a Standing Committee besides State-level Screening Committees for national anti-profiteering authority.

This will be the third meeting of the GST Council since the launch of the GST on July 1, and the 21st since it was set up in September last year.

The GST Council will also discuss tax rates for about 70 goods and commodities and modalities to ensure that the GST benefits were passed on to consumers.

The Telangana Government, which is hosting the Council meeting, will reiterate its demand to scrap or reduce the GST to five per cent on ongoing projects in the State.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had already briefed Jaitley during the former’s recent visit to Delhi about the difficulties the State would face if the tax slabs finalised for the ongoing projects were continued.

According to State Finance Minister Etala Rajender, though the Centre had agreed to reduce the impact by slashing tax on ongoing projects from 18 to 12 per cent, the State would still face a burden of Rs 9,000 crore.

Jaitley will hear the arguments of all the States and take a final call on the tax slab for all government works.