FPJ Exclusive: Minister Jayant Patil to attend GST council meeting on December 18

Mumbai: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has deputed senior minister Jayant Patil to attend the meeting of the Goods and Service Taxes (GST) council, scheduled for December 18. Patil will press for the early disbursement of GST tax dues worth Rs 15,558.05 crore and also seek clarification of the council's decision on higher exemption thresholds for goods suppliers, which was taken at its 32nd meeting.

Patil, the planning and finance minister, told The Free Press Journal, ''Already Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, seeking early disbursement of state dues. This will help the government manage finances efficiently and development works will not suffer.''

He said, the GST council had decided there would be two threshold limits for exemption from GST registration and payment for goods suppliers -- Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh. States could pick one option. For service providers, the threshold would continue to be Rs 20 lakh and for special category states, this would be Rs 10 lakh. ''I will seek a clarification, given that there is a slowdown in the economy,'' he noted.

The GST council had decided to reduce the economic burden of small traders so that the money saved would be invested in the economy, leading to a multiplier effect. The fundamental argument for raising the threshold was that it would free the business of the expenditure on compliance.

Patil's intervention at the GST council is important especially when the state finance department has indicated that the government may miss the GST collection target of Rs 1,13,260 crore, due to the economic slowdown. Until November, GST receipts are Rs 55,142 crore, as against Rs 56,619 crore in the corresponding period last year. Actual GST receipts in the last financial year were around Rs 85,839 crore.

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