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Sushil Modi-led GoM to examine modalities for 'calamity tax' under GST

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: 

        i.            Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Finance Minister, Assam;       ii.            Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala;     iii.            Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Finance & Excise Minister, Maharashtra;    iv.            Shri Sashi Bhusan Behera, Finance & Excise Minister, Odisha;      v.            Shri Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab;    vi.            Shri 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 Council.

 

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