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Piyush Goyal to Chair 29th GST Council Meet Today; MSME Sector’s Woes Likely to be Discussed



New Delhi, August 4: Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will chair the 29th Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting at Vigyan Bhawan on Saturday. The meeting is expected to focus on the taxation-related grievances faced by the country’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The council will also cater to all aspects of GST from simplification of policy, reducing compliance burden to technology-related issues which affect the MSME sector. If reports are to be believed, the format of the council meeting will be different this time as there will be no formal consolidated agenda note.

Earlier this week, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had written to the GST Council secretariat asking them to write to states and UTs asking them to contact MSME taxpayers and their trade and industry associations in their respective states and UTs, collect their grievances/issues related to GST along with suggestions thereof for mitigating the issues. Reports claimed that 157 suggestions have poured in from the stakeholders, all of which will be taken up during the meet.

On July 21, in the 28th meeting, the GST Council had slashed tax rates on over 50 items, including footwear, refrigerator, washing machine and small screen TV. Apart of bringing down rates, the GST Council had also exempted GST on sanitary napkins, rakhis, fortified milk and idols of deities made of stone, marble and wood.

Following the rate cuts, former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had said that the decision was taken keeping upcoming assembly elections in mind. Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram said,”When elections are around the corner, government cuts rates. I suppose that makes a good case for frequent elections in different state!” Notably, Assembly polls are due in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram later this year.

(With agency inputs)

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