New Delhi, December 15, 2017

With the GST revenues under stress for the third consecutive month, the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is meeting on Saturday to discuss the way out.

The meeting will be held through video conferencing in which revenue officials from Delhi will also participate with finance ministers and other officials from states.

According to sources, top most on the agenda for the meeting will be a discussion on e-way bill and reverse charge mechanism, which the GST Council had postponed till March 2018.

However, the finance ministry feels that the tax compliance is not up to the mark since implementation of some of the main features of GST, such as matching of returns, e-way bill as well as reverse charge mechanism, have been postponed. A statement from the ministry immediately after the GST collection in October had corroborated this.

The government data showed that the total revenue collected under GST fell by around 10% to Rs 83,346 crore for the month of October from over Rs 92,000 crore in September. The official figures for November too are not very encouraging, an official told DH on condition of anonymity. The numbers for November will be out next week.

The meeting comes in the wake of reports that the small and medium sector business are getting hurt in the GST chain. The SMEs have complained that the big businesses are not taking supplies from them as they have to deposit GST on affecting purchases from an unregistered individual and entity to be adjusted later.

However, an advisory committee formed by the government to simplification and rationalisation of GST is in favour of deferring e-way bill and reverse charge mechanism for a year or so.

The e-way bill is a document required for the movement of goods worth above a certain threshold. Transporters have been opposing the bill and demanding invoice mechanism for fast clearance. Earlier this month, transporters in Uttarkhand warned they would go on mass stir if the e-way bill was implemented.

Sources said the finance minister will also take the feedback from his state counterparts on the upcoming Union Budget on February 1.

[The Deccan Herald]