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GST relief for MSMEs, homebuyers on the cards

New Delhi: The GST Council at its January 10 meeting will consider lowering tax rates on under-construction flats to 5 per cent from 12 per cent to give a boost to the housing sector and raising the threshold limit for MSMEs, to be brought under the unified tax ambit, to Rs 75- 80 lakh from Rs 20 lakh.

The government’s aim, according to sources, is to lift the housing sector, which has been in dumps for some time, make homes affordable for buyers and give relief to MSMEs from tax.

Any decision on lowering of goods and services tax (GST) on cement is unlikely. Cement faces 28 per cent tax. There is a demand to lower it to 18 per cent, which is being opposed by some states due to an annual revenue outgo of Rs 13,000 crore.

Meanwhile, the GST council has notified a 7-member GoM for analysis of GST revenue. Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi will head it and finance ministers from Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Haryana and Goa will be members.

The GoM, which will mainly study the issue of revenue shortfall, will meet on January 6 to discuss GST relief for small businesses and extension of composition scheme to small service providers, currently limited to goods manufacturers and restaurants.

Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats where completion certificate has not been issued. GST is not levied on buyers of realty for which completion certificate has been issued at the time of sale.

Besides, the council would consider composition scheme for small suppliers, as their registration under GST was not on expected lines.