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Decision for 5% GST on essential taken by GoM: Govt

Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary said that the GoM included ministers from states like Karnataka, Bihar, Kerala, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal. This GoM takes decisions unanimously.

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

Answering a question in the Rajya Sabha on the imposition of 5% GST on common use items like curd, paneer, jaggery, sugar, honey, lassi, rice, flour, and bread, Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary said on Tuesday that the decision to levy GST on the items was taken unanimously by the Group of Finance Ministers (GoM).
Earlier, all these products were kept out of the purview of the GST. The Opposition was constantly attacking the government after the imposition of GST on items of daily use like milk, flour, curd and cereals. Common citizens had also protested this move of the Central government. There was tremendous anger that has been spilling over on social media
During the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said, “In the 45th meeting of the GST Council held in Lucknow, it was decided to form a Group of Ministers (GoM) from different states.”
He said that the GoM included ministers from states like Karnataka, Bihar, Kerala, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal. This GoM takes decisions unanimously.
Earlier, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi had questioned whether in the recent meeting in which it was decided to impose GST on cereals, curd, lassi, etc., whether Delhi ruled by Opposition parties, ministers from states from Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal were present.
He also asked whether these states had opposed or disagreed with the imposition of GST on these items in the meeting. Choudhary said the decision was taken only with the approval of the people involved in the decision making group.
Responding to a question on the implementation of uniform GST on petroleum products under the principle of one country, one price, he said that such decisions are taken by the GST Council and this proposal had come in it.
The minister said that the proposal to bring petroleum products under the purview of GST is currently being considered. Significantly, after the recommendation of the GST Council, the central government imposed 5% GST on common use items like curd, paneer, jaggery, sugar, honey, lassi, rice, flour, and bread. Earlier all these products were kept out of GST.