Centre considers lower GST for real estate sector

Mainly for worst-hit sectors

Central government, Goods and services tax, Impact of Covid-19, Restaurants, Aviation, Hospitality, Real estate sector, Cash-based principle, Levying tax, Invoice-based system, GST relief, Liquidity pressure on businesses, Strapped for cash

The Central government is considering a goods and services tax (GST) relief package to counter the impact of Covid-19 and help prop up the economy.

The package being considered could include a six-month suspension of GST payments for the worst-hit sectors such as restaurants, aviation and hospitality as well as a lower rate for the real estate sector.

Other proposals include a switch over to a cash-based principle of levying tax from the current invoice-based system and providing GST relief on sales for which payment is not received due to the lockdown by treating those as bad debts.

These measures are expected to ease the liquidity pressure on businesses that are strapped for cash. A final decision on the proposals will be taken by the GST Council, which is the apex decision-making body for the tax. The government may also consider exempting them from other statutory charges for some time.

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