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GST Council meet to decide on slashing tax rate for e-vehicles postponed
July, 25th 2019

The 36th GST Council meeting, which was to be held through video conferencing, had only one item in the agenda and that was to consider Centre's proposal to slash GST rates to 5 per cent from 12 per cent on e-vehicles.

The meeting of the GST Council on Thursday, which was to decide on cutting tax rates on electric vehicles, has been postponed as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was pre-occupied in Parliament, officials said.

The 36th GST Council meeting, which was to be held through video conferencing, had only one item in the agenda and that was to consider Centre's proposal to slash GST rates to 5 per cent from 12 per cent on e-vehicles.

The GST Council meeting has been postponed and the new date would be decided later, officials said, adding Sitharaman was required to be present in Parliament, as Rajya Sabha was scheduled to take up for discussion amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra had on Tuesday written to Sitharaman objecting to a hurriedly called 'single agenda meeting' and said other important issues flagged by the states should be included in the agenda.

Mitra said that the Centre was taking a "myopic view" of the automobile industry by proposing a sharp cut in GST rate on e-vehicles, and completely ignoring the "disastrous impact" of such a move on the existing automobile units and entire auto service sector.

GST rate for petrol, diesel cars and hybrid vehicles are already at the highest bracket of 28 per cent plus cess.

The Council, which is chaired by Union Finance Minister and has state finance ministers as members, in its meeting last month, had referred the issue relating to Goods and Services Tax (GST) concessions on electric vehicle, electric chargers and hiring of electric vehicles, to an officers committee.

The recommendations of the officers committee were to be placed before the Council on Thursday.

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