The 46th GST Council meeting is underway and some key decisions are likely to be taken by the members.
Rate rationalisation seems to be one of the key agendas of the meeting and the Group of Ministers (GoM). Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a press conference at 3 pm to announce the decisions taken at the GST Council meeting.
DICUSSION ON HIGHER GST ON TEXTILES, FOOTWEAR
The higher GST on footwear and textiles will be a key agenda of today’s GST Council meeting. State representatives are likely to oppose higher GST on such items.
It may be noted that the GST on footwear, except those below Rs 1,000, was hiked to 12 per cent from 5 per cent. All readymade textile items, except those made with cotton, were also hiked to 12 per cent.
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However, the hiked GST rates have not gone down well with trade bodies and state governments. There are chances that state representatives will oppose the GST hikes on these items at the meeting. There are chances that the GST hike on footwear and textiles will be deferred as a result.
According to trade bodies, including the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the decision to hike GST on footwear and textiles will not only hurt businesses, but will also impact the poorer section of the population who will not be able to afford such items due to hiked prices.
MOST STATES AGAINST GST HIKE
Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are among states that are not in favour of the hike in GST.
Delhi deputy chief minister and finance minister Manish Sisodia also termed the move as not people-friendly, adding that it should be withdrawn. Tamil Nadu finance minister P Thiaga Rajan also said that many states are not in favour of the hike in GST and added that it should be stalled.
All other states mentioned above are also expected to demand a complete rollback of the hikes as they could lead to job losses and closure of business units.