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GST Council meet on May 4, simplifying returns on agenda

By PTI
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    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-chaired GST Council will meet on May 4 to discuss a simpler return form and the amendments required in the indirect tax regime rules.

    Arun Jaitley

    The 27th meeting of the Council, comprising state finance ministers, will meet through video conferencing and will also mull over the proposal of converting GSTN into a government company.

    A decision on return simplification could be on the cards with the Sushil Modi-led Group of Ministers putting before the Council the three models of new return form for discussion, an official said.

    With Jaitley been advised by doctors to stay in isolation to avoid contracting infection, the meeting has been planned through video conferencing.

    The Council had in March discussed on two models of GST returns and suggested that the GoM would work further simplification.

    The official said the amendment to the law would also be taken up once the Council clears the new GST return format.

    One of the models presented before the Council was that provisional credit should not be granted unless the taxpayers file returns and pay taxes.

    The second model stated that provisional credit could be granted to a taxpayer, but returns have to be filed within 3-4 months and taxes have to be paid or else the credit amount would be reversed. After consulting the stakeholders, the GoM earlier this month worked out a third model for return filing as per which credit could be extended once the invoice uploaded by the supplier is verified by the purchaser on the GSTN portal. Jaitley had earlier this month asked Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to "examine the possibility" of converting GSTN into a majority government company or a 100 per cent government company. GSTN provides the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime.

    Currently, five private financial institutions -- HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd -- hold 51 per cent stake in GSTN, which was incorporated on March 28, 2013, in the erstwhile UPA regime. The remaining 49 per cent stake is with the Centre and States.

    PTI

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