The GST council is yet to reach a consensus on 10 per cent rate (from 28 per cent to 18 per cent) cut for automobiles, as some of the state Finance Ministers are against the proposal. “We are open to taking it to the Council but most decisions there are taken unanimously. I would like the industry to also reach out to individual State finance ministers who are also part of the GST council,” Minister of State, Finance, Anurag Thakur said.
“This government is with you and we will do whatever it takes,” he said at the 59th Convention of Automotive Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) here.
Some States including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are against the GST rate cut. Any rate cut on GST has to be first approved by the GST fitment committee and then sent to the Council at the next meeting. The fitment committee is expected to meet today.
Till all the States agree to the proposal, GST Council is unlikely to take up the rate cut for automobiles. The Council is scheduled to meet on September 20 in Goa.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had assured the auto industry, on Thursday, that he will push for reduction in rates with the Finance Minister.
Meanwhile, Thakur also said that the government is doing its best to help the auto industry and have taken some good decisions in the recent past. “In the first meeting to address the economic slowdown, on August 23, we listed a number of initiatives to help the automotive industry. That shows that we treat this industry on priority. If you take one step from your end, I can assure you we will take four steps from our side,” Thakur added.
Festive season demand
The auto industry is also voicing together for help from the government so that the festive season get some traction. “In order to get out of the current crisis and not miss the festive season, we require clarity from the government, here and now, on GST and scrappage policy,” Guenter Butschek, Managing Director and Chief Exective Officer, Tata Motors said.
“If the government does not believe, for whatever reasons, that it will not be able to reduce the GST, then actually let us know it here and now, loud and clear. Because that’s the customer expectation at this point of time, and it’s the reason why we currently see lots of cancellations of bookings. Why we actually see empty showrooms is because of the fact that customers expect there is a better deal coming, if not tomorrow then after September 20,” he added.
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