Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Goods and Services Tax Council is still a new five-year-old body which is not yet well established, but serves as a live platform for in-depth dialogue between the Center and the states. works.
“GST (council) is just born, it is five years old and I don’t know if it is fully completed on a lot of things that are committed. It is happening, happening fast and there is a lot of vibrancy in the council,” said Ms Sitharaman at the Delhi School of Economics.
Ms Sitharaman A ‘powerful case’ made by NK Singh, head of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, to set up a Financial Council with the Center and the States and another body to act as a bridge between the GST Council and the Finance Commission ‘ was reacting. She was speaking at a discussion on a book Mr Singh has co-authored with PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, titled ‘Recalibrate: Changing Paradigms’.
“Interestingly, we don’t have a full-fledged, well-developed GST Council, ‘it’s all fixed and it’s going’ is still a kind of situation,” he said, emphasizing that Giving that Centre-State talks were ‘continuously happening’ in the Council or through the Finance Commission itself when it assesses their views regarding their terms of reference for visiting the States.
“The GST Council which ideally happens once in three months, and sometimes, of course, gets extended to the fourth or fifth month… When we sit there, we sit as equal members. There is no artificial line between the Center and the states in the council,” she insisted.
The finance minister also agreed with Mr Singh’s call for more debate on freebies, acknowledging his remarks that the politics of freebies tramples on norms of more responsible behaviour. Mr Singh said it is important that governments ‘transparently provide’ for all subsidies and exemptions to citizens in their budgets instead of adopting strategies like cross-subsidies.