GST Council meet: No decision on tax on gold

The two-day GST Council meet will begin tomorrow in Srinagar amid tight security.

The meeting of the Fitment Committee and preparatory meeting of the officers was convened at SKICC here today in this regard. On top of that there are over 60 services, like religious pilgrimage, healthcare, education, skill development, journalistic activities, which are exempt from service tax.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and his ministry officials as well as representatives of 29 states and Union Territories will be present at the meeting. Also, the Council is expected to give final approval to four sets of rules relating to input tax credit, valuation, transitional provisions and composition scheme, which were tentatively approved in the last meeting on March 31.

GST, billed as India’s most ambitious reforms move, will stitch together a common national market, dismantle fiscal barriers among states and consolidate a patchwork of local and central duties into a single levy.

Earlier, the Rajya Sabha passed four GST Bills without amendments setting the stage for the government for the launch on July 1. Besides there will be an additional slab that includes cess on luxury items. Cess will be imposed on these products in addition to GST to raise resources for paying compensation to states for any revenue loss suffered during five years after GST implementation.

The cess on luxury goods have been capped at 15 percent.

“Sin” goods such as tobacco (cigarettes) and pan masala will attract cess rates of 290 per cent and 135 percent respectively, although the impact on current effective consumer prices will be negligible.

“There are hardly any areas where rates have been hiked”, Jaitley said sadding that the GST Council has tried either to retain the earlier tax rates or has brought them down.