The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold her first maiden GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council meeting today. The Council in its 35th meeting under the re-elected Modi government is expected to consider slashing GST on electric vehicles to 5 percent from 12 percent.
She will be holding the half-day meeting at 2 pm after the pre-budget meeting in New Delhi.
With rising concerns of an economic slowdown, the first GST Council meeting may look at further pruning the highest tax slab of 28 percent, which currently comprises 28 goods. In December, the council had cut rates on 23 items effective January 1, 2019, including seven from the top bracket leaving mainly luxury and sin goods – apart from automobiles and cement – in that category.
Other topics that are likely to be discussed during the GST meeting are tax evasion issue, an extension of the tenure of the National Anti-profiteering Authority till 2020, electronic invoices system, the revenue position of states, the new return filing system, setting up an appellate tribunal for north-eastern states and another one for all Union Territories (UTs), levy of GST on extra-neutral alcohol (ENA) used in manufacturing liquor for human consumption.
The meeting will be attended by the Finance Ministers of States/Union Territories (UTs) & Senior Officers of the Ministry of Finance & State Governments among others.