CHENNAI: Senior Tamil Nadu minister D. Jayakumar, in-charge of fisheries, on Friday categorically made it clear that phasing out of exemptions for various products and services under the GST (Goods and Services Tax) regime as recommended by 15th Finance Commission was not acceptable to the state.
Speaking at the 37th GST Council meeting in Goa, Jayakumar withdrawing such exemptions will affect the small traders, farmers and artisans in handicrafts sector the most as many of the exemptions now given pertain to their vocations. Hence, he pleaded for retaining the exemptions under GST.
Opposing any move to bring petroleum products and electricity under GST, Jayakumar said it will affect the 'financial autonomy' of states like TN. The compensation in revenue due to introduction of GST should continue to be given to States even after the stipulated deadline of 2022, the minister urged.
Jayakumar pressed for early constitution of the appellate tribunal related to GST to settle disputes. He also impressed upon the GST council not to insist upon mandatory audit certificates for traders with annual turnover up to Rs five crore.
The meeting discussed a wide range of commodities and services for which GST rate has to be either modified or in need of clarification from the Council. Pressing Tamil Nadu's case on a slew of items, Mr. Jayakumar said, 'fish meal' should be completely exempted from GST.
The minister stressed that the demands placed by Tamil Nadu on restructuring GST rates on a long list of items, commodities and services that are essential and that affect a majority of the common people, should be expeditiously considered by the GST Council and a favourable decision arrived at. Mr. Jayakumar also urged complete GST exemption for items like kerosene and palmolein distributed under the PDS, besides to agriculture-related services and to State cooperative banks. Ends....