Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday chaired the first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the GST concession and exemption of Covid relief materials.

“Chaired the first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine GST concession and exemption of Covid relief materials as mandated by Hon’ble FM @nsitharaman Ji in the 43rd @GST_Council meeting. Thank all Hon’ble members for their inputs,” Sangma tweeted.

Briefing mediapersons, Sangma said that the GoM went into a detailed discussion of almost all the items that were recommended by the Fitment Committee.

“The basic principle that we followed in our discussion was to see the benefits and the tax reductions that would give the benefit directly to the people. So, for items that were very much personal that the people or the patients would have to directly buy, we made sure that we could bring down the concessions and the rates to the maximum amount possible so that in these difficult times maximum relief can be given,” said Sangma.

The GoM also looked at the issue of the rules and regulations and the laws based on which the council functions and ensured that they stuck to the constitution and the provisions that are there in the GST council.

It may be mentioned that the Group of Ministers was set up on May 29 after the 43rd GST Council meet to study the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates applicable on COVID-19-related materials.

The high-powered group includes finance ministers of eight states – Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who holds the state’s finance portfolio, was also appointed as the group’s Convener.