Saturday, 5 August 2017

GST Council to discuss rates of agri services, e-way bill issues

The all-powerful Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will take up representations from the industry regarding revision of rates, while focusing primarily on changing tax rate of agriculture and agricultural services such as warehousing and garment job works.

The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will meet on Saturday to take a stock of implementation the country’s biggest tax reform that was rolled out on July 1.

It will also iron out crucial issues related to electronic-way (e-way) bill, finalise a mechanism to operationalise anti-profiteering clause and revisit the demands of the textile as well as other sectors, a senior government official told Moneycontrol.

The rates of items such as ribbons and gas stove may also be taken up for discussion, with agriculture being the main focus of the government.

Cigarette and tobacco products may be taken up yet again by the Council, the official said.

"Area-based exemptions for Assam and other north-eastern states may also be discussed," the official said.

Sources said that rates of IT products, fly-ash bricks, bio-diesel and certain food items such as dried fish and vegetable blended edible oil is likely to be brought down.

The Centre and the State is divided on certain parameters related to the e-way bill. For instance, states are of the opinion that the bill should be obtained for intra-state movement of goods, while Centre feels that it should be generated only for inter-state movement, the official explained, adding that the Council is most likely to debate on these issues.

While GST rate for certain items may be revised, the government has time and again reiterated that change in rate is not something that the Council in keen on, until something has been left out or there has been an error in judgement by the fitment committee.

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