GST Council Meeting To Decide On EV Tax Rate Postponed
Nirmala Sitharaman signing the register after taking oath as a Cabinet Minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

GST Council Meeting To Decide On EV Tax Rate Postponed

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Thursday’s GST Council meeting, which was to decided on a tax rate cut for electric vehicles, was postponed as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was pre-occupied in the 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 Budget 2019 proposal to slash goods and services tax to 5 percent from 12 percent on EVs.

“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 the Parliament as Rajya Sabha was scheduled to take up for discussion on amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

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 discussions.

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

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

The GST Council, a federal body which is chaired by the Finance Minister of India and has state finance ministers as members, had in its meeting last month referred the issue relating to EV GST rate cut to an officers committee. The recommendations of the officers committee were to be placed before the GST Council on Thursday.

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