Saturday, July 20, 2024

FM Nirmala Sitharaman holds pre-Budget meeting with finance ministers of states


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New Delhi, June 22:  Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman chaired pre-Budget consultations with the Finance Ministers of states and Union Territories to take their views on board for the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25 here on Saturday.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim; Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana; State Finance Ministers and other Ministers; and Senior Officers from the States and Union Territories (with Legislature) and the Union Government.

This will be followed by the 53rd meeting of the GST (Goods & Services Tax) Council on Saturday of which the finance ministers of states and UTs are also members. The GST Council is likely to deliberate on key issues such as the taxes on fertilisers and the inputs of chemicals used for making fertilisers and taxation on online gaming.

The need for an amendment to overrule retrospective tax demands and a possible exemption for reinsurance is also likely to be taken up. The council may discuss the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers to reduce GST on raw materials used to manufacture fertiliser in order to correct the inverted duty structure.

At present GST at a rate of five per cent is charged on fertilisers, while raw materials like Sulphuric Acid and Ammonia face a higher GST of 18 per cent. A reduction in tax on the import of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services for foreign airlines in India which are currently taxed at 18 per cent may also be taken up for consideration.



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