Crucial 14th GST council meet starts in Srinagar

Mathews said that as an essential service, the telecom industry needs some benefits and tax relaxation in order to provide a seamless and hassle-free service.

Expressing its disappointment, the association said, "the effective tax rate of 40 per cent on these products under the GST regime is against the stated policy of maintaining parity with the existing weighted average tax which is significantly below 40 per cent".

At the ongoing meeting in Srinagar, the main agenda apart from discussions on the tax slabs, States, Union Territories and officials from the Centre will discuss GST rules for accounts, advance ruling, appeals and revision.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley is in Srinagar to chair the 14th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meet that deliberates on tax rates on commodities and services. Around 400 items are now exempt from excise and VAT under the existing indirect tax regime. At present, we have no clarity on how the present excise exemption will work, post GST. "It's a luxury product and price of gold has quadrupled in the last one decade", he said.

The tax rates will be decided in a fashion to keep their impact on inflation as well as revenues to the government near neutral.

"Our estimate is we will benefit Rs 1,500-2,000 crore in tax revenue on GST implementation". "This is the most important meeting because tax is to be decided and this is the concluding part of the GST Council", state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was quoted as saying by PTI.

As of now there are over 17 items that are placed in the negative list of services.

He said, "GST is beneficial for states which are importing goods from other states and we are importing everything". On top of that there are over 60 services, like religious pilgrimage, healthcare, education, skill development, journalistic activities, which are exempt from service tax.

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