GST Council meeting ends; approves making GST-network a government entity

The meeting comes at a time when Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections achieved its record high by exceeding Rs 1 lakh crore milestone in April.

GST Council meeting ends; approves making GST-network a government entity

New Delhi: The 27th meeting of the GST Council considered introduction of simplified tax return form and also decide on proposal for converting GST Network into a government company. The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-chaired council, comprising state finance ministers, met through video conferencing.

The Council has also deferred the decision on imposing cess on sugar and the issue has been referred to group of five states.

The GST Council approveed making GST-Network a government entity by taking over 51 percent stake held by private entities. Currently, five private financial institutions -- HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd -- hold 51 per cent stake in GSTN, which was incorporated on March 28, 2013, in the erstwhile UPA regime.

“Central government will own 50 percent in GST-Network and states will collectively hold the remaining 50 percent, Jaitley said after the meeting.

The meeting comes at a time when Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections achieved its record high by exceeding Rs 1 lakh crore milestone in April. The government mopped up Rs 1.03 lakh crore in GST collections last month. The new indirect tax regime, which was rolled out on July 1 last year, had earned a revenue of Rs 7.41 lakh crore in entire 2017-18.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the new system of single monthly return for GST will come into force in six months. Jaitley had earlier this month asked Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to examine the possibility of converting GSTN into a majority government company or a 100 percent government company. GSTN provides the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime.

With PTI Inputs

 

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