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GST panel says no to placing mobiles in declared goods list
May, 15th 2013

State finance ministers today turned down the Centre's request to place mobile phones and tablets in the list of declared goods in the goods and service tax (GST) regime, saying the idea is untenable.

The Ministry for Communication and Information Technology's request for placing mobile phones and tablets in the declared goods list came up for discussions at the meeting and was rejected, Sushil Kumar Modi, chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST, told reporters after the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the committee.

"The panel is of the firm view that the idea is untenable and no item should be kept in the declared goods list in the GST regime ," he said.

The finance ministers have gathered here to sort out complex issues such as tax rates and exemptions under the proposed indirect tax regime. Modi, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, said the GST network would create a robust infrastructure for effective implementation of GST regime.

The IT-enabled GSTN will provide an interface to stakeholders and avoid evasion in indirect taxation systems.

The Empowered Committee also set up two important committees, one to look into taxation of sugar, textile and tobacco products, and the other to draft GST legislation.

Giving the latest value added tax (VAT) revenue position of states, Modi said Bihar was at the top with 30.5 per cent VAT revenue growth followed by Tamil Nadu with 27.7 per cent and Gujarat with 26.5 per cent.

However, the panel could not take a call on revising the lower VAT rate from 5 per cent to six per cent, Modi said.

The GST panel decided to hold a meeting of special category states, including Jammu and Kashmir, by the end of June or early July to discuss the implications of the proposed GST regime on them in view of the fact that they enjoy a number of tax exemptions due to their special category status.

Mussoorie Meeting

* State finance ministers say the idea of mobile phones and tablets in the list of declared goods in the goods and service tax (GST) regime is untenable

* Sushil Kumar Modi, chairman of the panel, says the GST network would create a robust infrastructure for effective implementation of GST regime

* Committee also set up two panels: one to look into taxation of sugar, textile and tobacco products, and the other to draft GST legislation.

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