The government has no plans to impose calamity cess on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to tide over the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and the lockdown imposed to prevent its spread, news agency ANI reported on Saturday, quoting finance ministry sources. The sources said there have been reports in a section of the media about such a cess and tinkering with taxes would not be a prudent option in the given scenario. “There have been stories claiming that the Centre is considering a calamity cess on GST to tide over the economic crisis. In the present economic scenario in COVID-19, any purported proposal of introducing a calamity cess would be nothing less than adversity itself,” a source said.
Meanwhile, the GST Council is expected to meet at some point next month.
The sources said any such proposal would prove to be “counter-productive” as the sales figures are already low due to slump in demand and introducing a cess, which would lead to a further increase in prices, could hamper the sales even further.
“Any such proposal would be counter-productive as at this time sales are already low. The industry is facing a crisis for want of demand and likely labour challenges that might come in future due to COVID-19. Tinkering with taxes/cess wouldn’t be a prudent option,” the source added.