The 28th meeting of the GST Council chaired by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal is currently underway. The Council is deliberating upon a number of key issues on its agenda which includes rate revision on a number of items, amendments to the GST law, simplification of return, and the setting up of a National Appellate Tribunal in Delhi.
The fitment committee of the GST has recommended GST exemption on sanitary napkins and deities made of marble or stone. It has also recommended reduction in the GST slab for lithium ion batteries used in electronic items from the current 28 per cent to 18 per cent along with a slew of reductions in other items like bamboo flooring, ice making machines, vending machines, water coolers etc.
The GST Council is also expected to discuss the recommendations on imposition of cess on sugar. A GoM headed by Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had rejected the proposal to impose cess on sugar to clear dues of sugarcane farmers. The GoM had, however, recommended reduction of GST on ethanol to 12 per cent from 18 per cent. The imposition of GST on ATF and natural gas is not on the agenda but the Council could discuss it, as per reports.
The GST Council may also consider the constitution of a National Appellate Tribunal in Delhi with three regional benches. The tribunal will include members from judiciary as well as tax departments. It will hear appeals against the order of the appellate authority set up by states under the GST regime.