Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 46th meeting of the GST Council on December 31. The GST Council meeting will happen a day after Sitharaman's upcoming meeting with state finance ministers on the next union budget, scheduled for Thursday, December 30.

The GST Council is likely to discuss increased GST rate on the textile sector. The issue of rate rationalisation may not be taken up by the Council in the upcoming meeting.

Top sources revealed to Fortune India that the council will discuss GST rate on textile, which was recently hiked to 12% on man-made fibres and ready-made garments with effect from January 1. However, the trade bodies have opposed the move fearing loss in business.

Several representations have been received from various states against the move by the GST Council. The Confederation of Indian Traders too has written to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman a couple of days back to defer the rate hike.

The GST Council may not take up the issue of rate rationalisation in the upcoming meeting as the group of ministers (GoM) on the issue, led by Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, is likely to submit its recommendations to the council by February next year.

Under GST, the four-tier slab structure currently applicable mandates four tax rates — 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The government is looking at further rationalisation of the GST slabs by merging some of the rates. The GoM has received recommendations from the fitment committee, comprising central and state indirect tax officials, on the issue.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman will also hold pre-budget consultations with state finance ministers tomorrow.

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