Bhubaneswar: The 31st GST Council meeting was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Sri Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister. Attending the meeting, Sri Shashi Bhusan Behera, Finance Minister, Odisha demanded reduction of GST on kendu leaves from 18% to 5%.
It is to be noted that Sri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha had intimated Union Finance Minister and Chairman, GST Council to reduce GST on kendu leaves from 18% to 5% vide letter dated 29.11.2018. Sri Behera informed the Council that kendu leaves being a minor forest produce was taxed @5% under odisha Value Added Tax(OVAT) before the implementation of GST.
The high tax rate on kendu leaves affects the sale price and sale of kendu leaves through e-tender by Odisha Forest Development Corporation, due to which the social security and welfare schemes for the kendu leave pluckers and the seasonal workers may be affected. In the interest of tribal and forest dwellers engaged in kendu leaf trade, the GST should be reduced to 5% on kendu leaves, Sri Behera reiterated. Further, Finance Minister Sri Behera raised the issue to extend GST compensation for further period from the year 2022 onwards to protect the revenue collection for the States.
Principal Secretary, Finance Department Sri Ashok Kumar Kaluram Meena, Commissioner of CT & GST Sri Saswat Mishra and Additional Commissioner, GST Cell Sri
Sahadev Sahoo also attended the meeting.