49th GST Council meeting to take place on 18th February 2023; Know what to expect!

The GST Council shall convene its next meeting on Saturday, 18th February 2023, in New Delhi. It will be referred to as the 49th GST Council meeting held after about two months since the last one was held on 17th December 2022. The GST Council recently made this announcement on its official Twitter handle.

Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman will be the chairperson of the 49th GST Council meeting, and this shall be the first one since the presentation of the Union Budget 2023. The 49th GST Council meeting shall be the third such meeting which is happening almost immediately after the presentation of the Union Budget 2023 in February. Similar post-budget Council meetings last happened in 2019, before the pandemic and for the first time in 2017.

Speculations are rife that the Group of Ministers (GoMs) may table its report on taxation of ‘Gutkha’ and ‘Pan Masala’ businesses and the setting up of the GST appellate tribunals at the 49th GST Council meeting. There could also be talks on the report expected from another GoM led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on the imposition of GST on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing. All these GoM reports were on the agenda at the 48th GST Council meeting held on 17th December 2022.

The Central and state governments would broaden the taxpayer base at every level in GST to generate higher tax mop-up. Currently, the monthly GST collections work to an average of about Rs.1.4 lakh crore, while there are 1.40 crore taxpayers registered under GST.

Meanwhile, around the Budget 2023 time, many industries proposed indirect tax rate cuts before the Finance Ministry. An Axis My India Pre-Budget CSI Survey showed that 54% of the 6,100 participants across India wanted GST exemption for essential items. Whereas 73% of participants hoped that the Union Budget 2023 would address a price reduction in prices of essential commodities such as cooking oil, soap, detergent, etc. Further, the consumer sentiment index indicated that 44% wanted a GST reduction.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at annapoorna.m@clear.in

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