GST Council to discuss inclusion of real estate in new levy

Washington D.C. | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on October 15, 2017

Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister

Finance Minister Jaitley says economic indicators point to recovery

The Goods and Services Tax Council will discuss including real estate in the new indirect tax levy at its next meeting, although bringing petrol and diesel in its ambit would have to wait.

“Real estate is on the agenda for the next meeting of the GST Council,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told BusinessLine.

To meet on Nov 10

The Council, chaired by Jaitley, is scheduled to meet in Guwahati on November 10. Concluding his near week-long trip to the US, Jaitley told reporters that he expected the economy to now be on a recovery path after GDP growth slowed to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal.

“Some of the recent indicators, such as industrial output, core sector, purchasing managers’ index and exports, indicate good signs for the future,” he said, adding that this will be coupled with the recovery in the global economy, which will impact two critical areas for India — demand and exports.

Commenting on the International Monetary Fund’s policy prescription to member nations to undertake reforms during this period of upswing in global growth, the Finance Minister said structural reforms, such as demonetisation and GST, were to that effect. “When India was growing at 7-8 per cent…that was the time to fix the economy,” he said, stressing that the government did not want to “indulge” in populist measures.

“There are still challenges of non-performing loans although a part of it is being addressed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,” he said, adding that the government would soon be taking a decision on bank recapitalisation.

He was confident that private sector investments would recover also soon.

Commenting on his meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Jaitley said he took up India’s concerns on H-1B visas. “Professionals from India are very skilled and are very high value and not illegal migrants. The US should have a different outlook on them,” he said.

Stressing that India and Iran’s relations remain strong, Jaitley said during his bilateral meeting with the Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Masoud Karbasian, most of the issues relating to oil payments were resolved. The talks also focussed on the Chabahar port, he added.

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Published on October 15, 2017
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