SHILLONG, July 9 - The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meeting would be held on first Saturday of each month and Meghalaya was pivotal in fixing this day.
It was earlier decided that the Council meeting would be held on the first Sunday of every month. However, Meghalaya took a stand against the day and it was changed to Saturday.
Taxation Minister Zenith Sangma told The Assam Tribune that after Sunday was tentatively fixed as the day for the Council meetings, he argued that since Meghalaya is a Christian majority State, attending meeting on Sundays would not be appropriate. Christians reserve Sundays as a day of prayer.
Not just Meghalaya, Sangma also pointed out that Christian majority States like Nagaland, Mizoram and others would also find it difficult to attend the meeting.
�Ultimately it was agreed to change the day and then it was decided that on first Saturday of the month the GST council meeting would be held,� Sangma said.
Therefore, the first meeting after the implementation of the GST would be held on August 5, the first Saturday of the month. Sangma said issues such as revision of taxes on items if need be and also ways for smoother implementation of the Act would be discussed.
Sangma, who has been enthusiastic about the GST and its implementation, has said on several occasions that the new tax regime would help consumer States like Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, businesses in the State Capital have welcomed the new tax structure with cautious optimism. Several are still confused how the GST would take shape, although several awareness programmes were held in the State.
A prominent businessman said there is confusion within the small and medium business community as there are a lot of issues unexplained and have to be addressed, although lauding the new tax regime.
He said that GST has made it necessary for small business houses to hire professionals for their book keeping, which has to be done online.
The pharmacies are also concerned and several have said that so far it is not clear about the different slabs the various drugs would fall under. They have also complained that the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) code, which is mandatory, is yet to be received.