To make good the losses suffered due to recent floods and keep going,
Kerala had sought the GST Council's opinion on allowing imposition of higher
taxes on goods within the state.
Natural calamities can happen to any state.
Taking a broader view of national significance, the Government
constituted on 28 September 2018 a panel consisting of seven finance ministers,
Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the modalities for revenue mobilization for
natural calamities and disasters.
And the panel would submit its report to the GST Council by October
31, according to an official release.
Shri Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar
is the Convener of the GoM and the following are its other Members:
Biswa Sarma, Finance Minister, Assam; ii.
Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala; iii.
Mungantiwar, Finance & Excise Minister, Maharashtra; iv.
Bhusan Behera, Finance & Excise Minister, Odisha; v.
Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab; vi.
Prakash Pant, Finance Minister, Uttarakhand.
"Union Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley has approved the constitution of a Group of Ministers today to
examine the issue regarding 'Modalities for Revenue Mobilisation in case of
Natural Calamities and Disasters'," the release said.
The panel would examine five issues suggested by the Council: to
impose the new tax only in the state affected by natural calamities or
disasters or to make the tax an all-India levy; whether the tax should be on
specified luxury goods or sin goods only; whether National Disaster Response
Fund (NDRF)/ State Disaster Response Fund (SRF) mechanism is sufficient to deal
with calamities and also to define the circumstances that make ‘calamity tax’
imposable. Naturally, the GoM must also look into the legal aspect of such
imposition such tax within the GST.
Briefing reporters after the Council meeting, Jaitley said the GST law
states that a special rate of tax can be imposed after permission of GST