Auto Sector Should Pitch GST Rate Cut To State Finance Ministers As Well, Says Anurag Thakur
The auto sector should take up its demand for a GST rate cut with the state finance ministers as they are members of the GST Council, said Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Friday, even as he assured all support from the Centre to tide over the auto slowdown.
Original equipment and auto component manufacturers have been seeking reduction in Goods and Services Tax to 18 percent from 28 percent to boost the auto sector.
"You are aware that any GST rate cut needs to be approved by the fitment committee and then by the GST Council. I request all of you to also reach out to the state finance ministers who are part of the GST Council," Thakur said at the annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association in New Delhi.
The Union Ministry of Finance has received multiple representations from car makers, dealers and several stakeholders of the auto industry regarding the GST rate cut.
"Various OEMs are based out of various parts of the country. The issue is whether they (the manufacturers) taking these issues with their finance ministers or not," Thakur said on the sidelines of the ACMA Summit, adding that state finance ministers should be equally aware of challenges faced by the OEMs or the automobile manufacturers.
"Our humble request is to apprise them also so that whenever this issue is discussed in the GST Council meeting, everyone should have their viewpoint," he added.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already said that the Centre is open to taking the rate cut demand to the GST Council. The next GST Council meeting will be held on Sept. 20 in Goa.
Thakur said the government has already come out with slew of measures to address challenges faced by the auto industry. "So, that is the priority our government is giving to this industry," he said. "Let me assure you we stand by you at this juncture and we will be there to listen to your challenges as we know you are going to play the most important role in making India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25.”
The government will consider various measures, including the vehicle scrappage policy, and “we are working closely on that as per demand of the industry”, said the junior finance minister.
"This industry is going to do well... (instead of) looking at this as a challenge, we will take it as an opportunity and be among the top-three automobile companies in the world," said Thakur. The companies "can do it. Whatever decisions we have to take, we will take”.