Sushil Modi to head Group of Ministers to examine modalities for ‘calamity tax’ under GST
The Government of India (GoI) has recently constituted a 7-member ministerial panel headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi to examine modalities for revenue mobilisation in case of natural calamities and disasters. The panel would submit its report to the GST Council by October 31. The Group of Ministers (GoM) has been set up to examine the legality of imposing a new tax on certain goods to raise resources for natural calamity-hit states like Kerala. The panel would look into five issues flagged by the Council, including whether the new tax should be levied only in the state concerned or should it be an all-India levy, and that should it be on specified luxury or sin goods only. Besides, the GoM will look at whether National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)/ State Disaster Response Fund (SRF) mechanism is sufficient to deal with calamities as well as define circumstances where the ‘calamity tax’ can be imposed. Other issues such as the legal aspect of imposition of such a tax within the GST would also be looked at.