“Smt Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 43rd GST Council meeting via video conferencing at 11 AM in New Delhi on 28th May 2021,” the Twitter post said.
The meeting will be held after a gap of more than six months, following demands from state finance ministers including those of West Bengal and Punjab.
Earlier this week, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra had written to Sitharaman seeking an urgent meeting of the GST Council to discuss the critical issue of increasing the compensation of Rs 1.56 lakh crore earmarked for states in FY22.
As per GoI projection, the shortfall was expected to be Rs 1,56,164 crore in 2021-22, without taking into consideration the impact of Covid Wave-2. “Now due to Covid Wave-2 and lockdowns, the compensation will be much higher than what was earlier projected,” he had said.
The Centre had given Rs 1.1 lakh crore to states as back-to-back loans to make up for GST compensation shortfall for FY21. The finance ministry said in March that Rs 63,000 crore as GST compensation was pending to states and Union Territories for FY21.
Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal had said that some issues required urgent discussion in the context of Covid including, whether GST should be exempted on hand sanitizers, face masks, gloves, PPE kits, temperature check equipment, oximeters, ventilators and others.
The issue of cut in interest rates under GST law, must be discussed as well, he had added.
The last GST Council meeting took place on October 5, 2020.