GST Council meeting today: Lease rates, refund for exporters on agenda

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A boost for the real estate sector, rationalisation of tax rates on lotteries, making refunds seamless for exporters these topics are set to dominate Wednesday’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting, according to people with knowledge of the matter and the agenda for the meeting. The government is looking to balance revenue collections between states and the Centre besides ironing out problems faced by a few industries, the people said.

The government is also contemplating a temporary cess of 2% on certain goods, especially those falling in the 5% and 18% slabs, to make up for the revenue shortfall. The GST Council may clarify rates on long-term leases, exempting those of 30 years or more if provided by a state, or if the central government has a stake of at least 20%. If approved, this will benefit manufacturing, realty and hospitality companies, experts said. Several companies had taken the government to court over 18% GST on long-term lease transactions. A GST rate of 5% will be levied on long-term leases if the plot is owned by a private individual, according to the GST agenda note, which ET has seen.

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