First GST council meet under Modi 2.0 today: Reduction in tax slab and other key expectations

New Delhi: The GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council is all set to meet on Friday (June 21) to decide on crucial matters on taxation, various slab and items falling under this slab amidst expectations of several sectors to reduce tax slab from the highest bracket.

This will be the first GST Council meeting after Modi 2.0 took charge last month and will be held just two weeks before the presentation of Union Budget 2019.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the meeting of the GST Council which among other things will consider reducing number of items under 28 percent tax slab, which is the highest in the GST tax bracket.

Among several discussions that is going to be on the GST Council agenda, discussion on proposal to levy 18 percent GST on extra-neutral alcohol (ENA), used for manufacturing alcoholic liquor for human consumption, will be an important one.

Another important matter before GST Council that is expected to come up is the proposal for generation of compulsory e-invoicing by big companies to check tax evasion. The proposal is to generate such e-invoices for transaction above Rs 50 crore.

The auto sector expects that government will reduce the GST tax rates from 28 percent to 18 percent, considering the lull in the domestic automobile industry.

The Auto industry believes that reduction in GST tax rates will induce a fresh leash of life into the sector.

Similarly, the Cement industry also expects that the government will lower GST tax rates from 28 percent to 18 percent. This move will benefit the real estate sector which currently needs a push.

The GST Council on December 22 decided to cut tax rates on 23 goods and services, including movie tickets, TV and monitor screens and power banks and exempted frozen and preserved vegetables from the levy. The Council had rationalised the 28 percent slab and restricted the highest slab to luxury, demerit, and sin goods, besides cement, large screen TV, Air Conditioners and dishwashers.