Millennium Post

GST Council forms 18 groups to sort out industry worries

The GST Council has set up 18 sectoral groups to interact with the sectors like telecom, banking and export and sort out their issues in a time-bound manner for a smooth transition to the new indirect tax regime.

These sectoral working groups consist of senior officers from the Centre and states and they will interact and examine representations received from trade and industry associations/ bodies of their respective sector.

Also, the groups will highlight specific issues for the smooth transition of the respective sector to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and prepare sector-specific draft guidance.

"These 18 sectoral groups representing various sectors of the economy and containing senior officers of the Centre and states are being set up to ensure smooth implementation of GST by timely responding to the issues and problems of their respective sectors," a finance ministry statement said.

The other sectors which would be looked into by the group include IT and ITes, textiles, gems and jewellery, food processing, e-commerce, oil and gas, pharma and MSME. The officials of these sectoral groups will deal with the issues of the respective sectors they represent.

"Concerned industry groups/associations or even individual industry representatives may approach the respective sectoral group officers with their problems relating to GST implementation who, in turn, will try to guide and help them in resolving the same," the statement said. This exercise will help in dealing with most of the sectoral problems and issues at the local/regional level, it added.

The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, have already decided on the tax rates for goods and services under various sectors to be levied under the new tax regime from July 1.

The Council in its 14th meeting on May 18-19 decided to set up these sectoral groups to better understand industry concerns as India moves towards the GST, which will subsume 16 different taxes including excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.

... Will meet tomorrow to review rates, amend rules

The all powerful GST Council will meet on Sunday to review some of the rates on which industry has expressed displeasure, besides amending the draft rules.

This will be the 16th meeting of the Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, since it was set up in September 2016.

"Main agenda items include confirmation of the minutes of the 15th GST Council meeting held on June 3, approval of amendments to draft GST rules and rate adjustment, if any, based on the representations received from different trade and industry and their associations," a finance ministry statement said. The June 11 meeting would probably be the last one of the Council.

Various industry associations have sought a review of the tax rates saying that the GST incidence is working out to be much higher than the present level of taxation.
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