The GST Council meeting is going to be held today with an agenda to introduce simplified tax return form and promotion of digital payments in the country. The council will also consider a proposal to convert GST Network into a government company with the equal holding of states and the Centre.

Last month GST collections achieved the milestone Rs 1 lakh crore. However, Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, will not be attending in-person but will participate through a video conferencing. Jaitley has been advised by doctors to stay in isolation to avoid contracting infection.

The Council has the agenda of simplification of income tax return form. The three models of new forms are reported to be placed before the council.

The Council will also deliberate about providing some relief for nil return filers by allowing them to file return quarterly. It has also been stipulated that provisional credit should not be granted unless the taxpayers file returns and pay taxes.

The second model provides that provisional credit could be granted to a taxpayer, but returns have to be filed within 3-4 months and taxes have to be paid or else the credit amount would be reversed.

According to the third model credit could be extended once the invoice uploaded by the supplier is verified by the purchaser on the GSTN portal.

The Council will also discuss converting GSTN into a government company. GSTN provides the IT backbone to the new model.

Currently, only 49 percent stake is with the centre and states while the remaining, 51 percent, is with five private institutions. Five private financial institutions include HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. The network was established on March 28, 2013 during the UPA government.

The government wants to convert GSTN into a majority government company or a 100 percent government company.

The Council is also considering offering a discount over the maximum retail price (MRP). The discount would be capped at Rs 100.

With inputs from PTI