Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will preside over the 45th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in Lucknow on Friday. During the meeting in Lucknow, the GST Council is scheduled to discuss a number of important issues that may include a proposal to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime.
A meeting of senior officers of the Union government and the participating states will give a final shape to the preparations for the meeting here on Thursday.
Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and ministers from different states nominated to the council will also attend the meeting being held physically after a gap of 16 months. The council last met physically in New Delhi on March 14, 2020.
“We understand a number of issues are going to be on GST Council’s agenda. Various issues that participating states may like to raise are likely to find a place on the GST Council’s agenda. This issue (petrol and diesel) may also come up. The Kerala high court in June 2021 directed the GST Council to take a call on the issue,” said official sources.
Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna, however, refused to comment on the issue.
“We are the host state. We are making arrangements for a comfortable stay of our guests. We are not aware of the GST Council’s agenda. We have got confirmation about participation from 24 states so far. Besides Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of State for finance Pankaj Chaudhary, those reaching Lucknow to participate in the GST Council meeting include deputy chief ministers and finance ministers of several states,” Khanna said.
“Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products is a major source of revenue for states. No state will like to lose the main source of revenue though bringing the petroleum products under the GST regime will give a big relief to the public as this will reduce the tax incidence and consequently the prices of these products,” said professor Yashvir Tyagi, former head of the department of economics, Lucknow University.