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Making CMs convenor of GST GoMs delay decision making: TN FM

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Mr. Thiaga Rajan also said under GST, the Council, chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprising State counterparts, has to meet every quarter, but in the post-Covid era, the meeting is not happening

Mr. Thiaga Rajan also said under GST, the Council, chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprising State counterparts, has to meet every quarter, but in the post-Covid era, the meeting is not happening

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P. Thiaga Rajan on Tuesday said the practice of naming the senior-most member as the convenor of panels looking into GST Council-referred issues often leads to delays in even convening meetings.

He said as the senior-most member among State Ministers in GST Council usually happens to be a Chief Minister or a Deputy Chief Minister, their tight schedules limit the time they have for convening meetings of the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up by the council, leading to delay in report submission.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan also said under GST, the Council, chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprising state counterparts, has to meet every quarter, but in the post-Covid era, the meeting is not happening.

“We have this strange convention that has been adopted for which I can find no reference anywhere in the documentation. If you constitute a GoM, the senior most member must be convenor but that is actually the exact opposite of what you want. How many chief ministers have the time in the scope of their broad responsibilities to convene GoMs for the GST council.

“Surely they have much less time than a deputy CM and a deputy CM has less time than a minister to run GoM meetings,” Thiaga Rajan said.

He added that there has even been a precedence of a new convenor for a GoM being named after a gap of six months.

The Tamil Nadu Finance Minister is a member of two GoMs under the GST Council. One on levying GST on casinos, online gaming and horse racing and the other on GST system reforms.

“The problem is this GoM (on system reform) doesn’t meet. If it doesn’t meet, it is hard for us to do any real work,” he said, adding the GoM doesn’t meet because there have been changes in the convenorship.

The GoM on GST system reforms is currently headed by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. It was earlier headed by former Maharashtra Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

The GoM on casinos, online gaming, and horse racing is headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.



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