Telangana government has sought exemptions from imposition of GST on several works such as maintenance and repairs of minor irrigation tanks, custom milling and transport pertaining to the public distribution system and on beedi leaf.
The requests were made by Telangana Minister for Finance T. Harish Rao at the 48 th GST Council meeting held virtually from New Delhi under the chairpersonship of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday. Mr. Harish Rao participated in the meeting from BRKR Bhavan, the makeshift Secretariat, along with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Commissioner of Commercial Taxes Neetu Kumari Prasad and other officials.
Mr. Harish Rao welcomed the proposal to amend the tax invoice rules and brought some doubts of Telangana to the notice of the Council. He requested the Council to bring in changes so that the tax revenue/income from consumers in a particular State reached that State itself as the invoice raised by the services such as telecom would benefit the States get the GST from where the invoices were raised since the platforms like Paytm, Mobikwik, Billdesk and others were not allowed to have customers address and PAN numbers due to TRAI rules.
Seeking exemption of GST on maintenance and repairs of minor irrigation tanks, Mr. Harish Rao said there were about 46,000 water bodies having 25 lakh acres ayacut in Telangana. However, imposition of GST on their maintenance and repairs being carried out by the State government was burdening the State.
Similarly, levying GST on services such as custom milling of paddy and transport of paddy and rice pertaining to the public distribution system (PDS) meant for the poor was also burdening the State. Besides, GST on beedi leaf would impact the employment opportunity of beedi rolling mainly done by women belonging to tribal, poor and remote areas.
The Minister explained that 28% GST was already slapped on beedis in spite of opposition by the Telangana government. Now, levying 18% GST on the raw material of beedis — the beedi or ‘tendu’ leaf — would adversely affect the beedi rollers.
The Council has referred Telangana’s requests to the fitment committee for examination. Union Finance Secretary T.V. Somanathan also assured to resolve the issues raised by Telangana on tax invoice rules.