GST Council meeting: Tax cut likely on residential properties
New Delhi, Feb 20: The 33rd GST council meeting began on Wednesday via video conference with Union Finance Minister joining from North Block, while state finance ministers connecting from their respective states. The other members of the committee are West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Goa Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho, Karnataka Finance Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Arunachal Tax and Excise Minister Jarkar Gamlin.
The meeting is important as it would be the first of its kind post interim budget presentation. As per the agenda of this meeting, a decision is expected on the supply of residential properties under the Composition scheme levy of GST on the TDR (transfer of development rights), reduction in tax rates on cement and introduction of duty transfer of development rights under GST for exporters.
The Council, in its meeting might also consider reducing tax on cement from 28% to 18% to boost the realty sector.
Meanwhile, the state governments of Kerala and Delhi on Tuesday, 19 February, demanded deferment of the Goods and Services Tax Council meeting scheduled for 20 February, saying a decision on of rates on real estate sector and lottery should not be taken through a video conference meet.
In a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that such "crucial issues" cannot be discussed through a video conference and convening a physical meeting is important to take a consolidated decision.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, too, said that decision on the important issue of GST on lottery cannot taken without a fair discussion.
He said including lottery in the council's agenda only a day before the meeting is unfair.
The GST Council, in its last meeting, gave relief to small businesses by increasing the Goods and Services Tax exemption limit from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and extending the composition scheme to service providers.
The new exemption threshold-the minimum annual turnover for businesses supplying goods to register under the GST- will take effect from April 1, 2019.