The Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Saturday opposed the proposal to raise the GST on pencil sharpeners from 12% to 18% as a step against the interests of students.
Several other states supported Cheema’s point while participating in the 48th GST Council meeting via video conferencing, after which the decision in this regard was deferred, according to a Punjab government statement.
“Agreing on the various recommendations made by the Fitment Committee which meet the interests of both state and nation, Harpal Singh Cheema gave valuable inputs during the GST Council meeting held under the chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman,” said the statement.
According to Cheema, changing the GST rates for ethyl alcohol supplied to refineries for blending with petrol could complicate monitoring the diversion of ENA to refineries and the evasion of tax.
ENA’s illegal trade has already been waged a war by the Punjab Government.
Keeping track of taxes on ethyl alcohol blended with motor spirit and curbing misuse of ENA would be difficult, he said.
According to the Punjab Finance Minister, the removal of clause (d) of rule 14 regarding e-way bills would rob the state of the power to determine the minimum threshold for the generation of interstate e-way bills. He disagreed with another agenda regarding the deletion of clause (d) of rule 14.
As a corollary, the state has already moved an agenda to empower the states to prescribe e-way bills for certain goods regardless of thresholds, said Cheema, adding that this would be important from a revenue perspective. According to the statement, the GST Council agreed to maintain the status quo.