Amid uproar in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday took to Twitter to clarify the decisions taken by the GST Council in its 47th meeting last month in Chandigarh. The Council recommended reconsidering the approach for the imposition of GST on specified food items like pulses, cereals, flour etc, said Sitharaman in a Twitter thread.
The FM tweeted that certain items including pulses/daal, wheat, rye, oats, maize, rice, aatta/flour, suji/rawa, besan, puffed rice, curd/lassi when sold loose and non pre-packed or pre-labeled, will not attract any GST.
Sitharaman pointed out that this is not the first time these food articles are being taxed and that states were collecting significant revenue from foodgrain in the pre-GST regime. "Punjab alone collected more Rs 2,000 cr on food grain by way of purchase tax. UP collected Rs 700 cr," she tweeted.
"All states were present in GST Council when this issue was presented by the Group of Ministers on Rate Rationalisation in the 47th meeting held in Chandigarh on Jun 28, 2022. All States, including non-BJP States (Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala) agreed with the decision. This decision of the GST Council is yet again by consensus," she said.
"Further, the GoM that recommended these changes was composed of members from West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Goa & Bihar and was headed by CM of Karnataka. It carefully considered this proposal, taking into account the tax leakage," added Sitharaman.
"This decision was a much-needed one to curb tax leakage. It was considered at various levels including by officers, the Group of Ministers, and was finally recommended by the GST Council with the complete consensus of all members," said FM in her concluding tweet.
Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned on Tuesday amid protests by opposition members over imposition of GST on some new items and on price rise issue.
As soon as the House reassembled at 2 pm, opposition members belonging to the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK and others came to the well of the House carrying placards to protest against price rise and imposition of the GST on some new items.
After laying of papers by the members, Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, who was on the chair adjourned the House for the day.