Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said he will shortly convene the first meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) that would recommend steps on ramping up GST revenue, restructuring of slabs and rationalising tax rates.
After meeting Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi, Bommai said the GoM is mandated to submit its report in two months and he discussed related issue with her. “It is a significant responsibility to head the GoM and I met Sitharaman in that backdrop. Since the GoM deals with important issues such as increasing tax revenue and restructuring and rationalising tax rates, I had a detailed discussion with her. As we have a time frame of two months, I will call the first meeting of GoM as early as possible,” said Bommai.
Replying to a media query on whether there is a possibility of hike in tax rates or the GoM would suggest means for compliance, Bommai said the panel will deliberate on such issues and people will know about it once it submits its report.
The GST Council last month constituted the GoM on restructuring of the tax system and appointed Bommai the chairman of the sevenmember panel, which has the finance ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Rajasthan as members.
On GST compensation due from the Centre to Karnataka, Bommai said the state has received the full amount till last year (2020-21) and Rs 12,000 crore compensation for Covid losses for last year. “This apart, 11,800 crore was due till March 2021 and the Centre has started releasing it in tranches. And Rs 18,000 crore is being released through special window borrowing as against our expectation of Rs 12,000 crore,” he said.
Bommai said he has requested Sitharaman to increase the allocation to Karnataka under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development scheme. He added the state sought higher allocation in an infrastructure project funded by NABARD this year and also requested to increase the loan amount above Rs 15,000 crore earmarked for this year.
He said Sitharaman is likely to visit Bengaluru in November first week. The Union minister has promised him she would hold two separate meetings on NABARD and Small Industries Development Bank of India, and will issue directions about allocation needed for agriculture and small-scale industries, he added. Earlier, Bommai met Union minister for chemicals & fertilisers and health, Manuskh Mandaviya, and requested him to allocate 32,000 tonnes of DAP (diammonum phosphate) and 10,000 tonnes of MOP (muriate of potash) fertilisers as there is a shortage for the rabi season.