GST Council: Jaitley, state ministers meet in Srinagar amid tight security

Arun Jaitley Union Finance Minister Jammu Kashmir J&K government GST special status Article 370 Constitution

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia has reportedly raised concerns over services being brought under GST "because service delivery destination is vague and we should discuss this".

As per estimates, the GST is expected to shore up government revenue and spur economic growth by 1-2 percentage points.

"Only after it is passed by the state legislature, shall we enact it", he said, adding J&K was mulling to bring real estate under the GST. Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac told reporters in Srinagar that the state wants jewellery to be taxed at 5% against 1.5% that the industry has been demanding. "Prices will go down for common people in coming three years", he said.

The two-day meeting of the Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, is working on fitting most of the items in the 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent template. "This meeting about GST is very crucial as it involves a lot of public interest, like what taxes you have on salt, on cigarettes, on ships, so it affects the general public".

He said as a member of the GST council, Odisha had been actively participating in the design of the legislation.

While tax slabs for about 80 per cent of items have already been decided, a decision regarding contentious items like motor vehicles, beedi, coconut oil was slated to be taken up for discussion during the meeting. "We are now part of the national policy making which will be recorded in the history", he said. The meeting observed two minutes silence in remembrance of Dave.

The Finance Minister said the GST is perhaps India's largest and most significant tax reform. The meeting is being held to take a final call on the new taxation regime and finalise the rates of different commodities and services.Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday reviewed arrangements for the GST council meet.

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