The GST Council has decided to roll out in six months a new model of filing monthly returns and to take over ownership of the GST Network (GSTN), even as it deferred a decision on imposing a sugar cess and allowing an incentive for digital payments.
Briefing the media here following the meeting of the GST Council, the Chairman and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Council had decided to set up two separate groups of five Finance Ministers of states to give recommendations both on the imposition of a cess on sugar as well as a 2 per cent incentive for making payments digitally.
He said, ‘The GST Council discussed the change in ownership structure of GSTN. As per the original structure of GSTN, 49 per cent is held by the government and balance 51 per cent by other entities. I had made a suggestion that this shareholding of 51 per cent should be taken over by the government and divided equally between the states and the Centre. Eventually, the Central Government should hold 50 per cent and states will hold 50 per cent collectively. The collective share of states will be pro-rata divided among them per their GST ratios,” he added.
Noting that sugarcane farmers are in deep distress due to rise in costs, Jaitley said the Council decided to constitute a group of five ministers within two days to make a recommendation on ways to meet contingency arising when the cost of a commodity is higher than its selling price. The committee will submit its report within two weeks keeping in view the urgency of the matter, Jaitley said.