Hasty GST Council aimed to facilitate real estate: Sisodia

New Delhi: Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday opposed what he called “rushing through” of important decisions in the GST Council meeting via video-conferencing, alleging the hasty meeting was aimed to facilitate the real estate and lottery lobbies.

The meeting, held earlier in the day, however, remained inconclusive since finance ministers of some states sought a “physical meeting” to discuss such important issues.

“The GST Council meeting via video-conferencing could not have decided on such critical tax decisions involving the real estate sector and lotteries,” he told the media here.

“On demand from at least 10 states, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had agreed to take up these issues in a face-to-face meeting to be held on Sunday (February 24),” he said.

Calling the meeting through video-conferencing a “forced one”, he stated that a hurried meeting gives rise to apprehension that “it was (held) to facilitate the real estate and lottery lobbies to avail undue benefits”.

Sisodia also raised concerns over lowering of tax rates on housing projects and sought a detailed discussion by all members of the GST Council on the issue.

“It will have serious repercussions on the tax regime. Unfortunately, many BJP-run state governments are also under pressure from the real estate lobbyists,” Sisodia alleged.

He also cited the reservations expressed by states like Kerala and West Bengal in this regard.

On Tuesday, Sisodia had written to Jaitley demanding postponement of the GST Council meeting through video conferencing on Wednesday.