Centre rejects TS plea for exemption on 2BHK, Mission Bhagiratha

THE HANS INDIA |   Jun 19,2017 , 04:02 AM IST


 New Delhi: The Centre has asked the AP and Telangana governments to fall in line and implement the GST for a fortnight to discuss the problems, if any, later with it.  At the 17th GST Council meeting here on Sunday, AP Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao reiterated their concerns once again over several issues and sought minimum GST on those, but the Centre did not respond as usual. 

The TS government's appeal to remove GST on its double bedroom housing scheme meant for the poor and on the Mission Bhagiratha programme did not cut much ice with the Centre which said the Council could look into it later if need be.    

KTR also appealed for the exemption of tax on Mission Bhagiratha as it was taken up to provide safe drinking water to all households in the state and that it had become a model for the other states to follow. The burden due to this scheme was around Rs 2,000 crore. A similar burden would be due to the irrigation project and due to the housing schemes, it would be around Rs 800 crore, he explained, yet the Centre did not consider discussing the issue. 

Social welfare schemes too were not considered by the Council for discussion despite Telangana's emphatic demand. Another issue, raised by both the governments was the granite industry issue, which now faced a 28 per cent taxation under the GST. Both the governments sought 18 per cent or 12 per cent tax on the subject, yet it was not entertained.  Another contentious issue was the beedi industry and this proposal of Telangana was also turned down. 

Ramakrishnudu too was disappointed with the Council's refusal to consider similar issues raised by his government. The Council made it clear to the government that the TTD would not get any exemption as all temples in the country would come forward with the same demand. 

His request for the exemption to the housing scheme too did not find a favour just as the TS government's appeal and the Council also did not bother to consider exemptions or lowering taxes for education and health sectors. In addition, the Council advised the AP government to look into the issue of "minor adjustments" on its part on small and medium industry that could come up in AP in future as the state would benefit due to the GST in the long run.

This could mean that an additional burden of Rs 11,000 crore on Telangana due to the GST. Both the governments would now be removing the check posts in their states as the GST is all set to roll out from July 1. 

By W Chandrakanth