All you need to know about the GST Council Meet

1 month ago Saloni Hindocha 0

GST or the Goods and Services Tax was introduced by Narendra Modi Government on the 1st July 2017.  This tax combined all the individual taxes into one. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it ‘Good and Simple Tax’. Commodities like petroleum and alcohol continued to be taxed separately by the states. The GST is divided into five tax slabs – 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. In addition to this, there are special rates of 0.5% on rough precious and semi-precious stones and 3% on gold.   A GST council has been appointed with the task of proper implementation of GST. This council consists of the Union Finance minister and all the state finance ministers.

GST council meeting on GST

The GST council had its 25th meeting on Thursday where they slashed the GST rates on 29 items and 53 services as well as proposed to make the return filing system much simpler. Arun Jaitley, the Union Finance Minister addressed the press after the meeting saying that these new rates will be effective from January 25. The minister also mentioned that the simplification of the return filing process was a major topic of discussion. To work on this the council will come together with Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani and will meet members to work and come with a plan of action. Infosys is the IT service provider for GST technological network.

GST council makes decisions on GST

Uttarakhand Finance Minister, Mr. Prakash Pant also said that a lot of suggestions and recommendations were made, some were rejected and some were accepted. Around 29 handicraft items have been put into the 0% category while tax rates on other goods have been reduced. The council also discussed that in the next meeting, they might consider bringing the GST exempt items under the purview of GST.  The council cut GST rates on second-hand medium, large and SUV cars from 28 percent to 18 percent. Rates on old and used motor vehicles were reduced to 12% and GST on LPG supplied to household domestic consumers by private LPG distributors will be reduced to 5 percent from 18 percent.

The GST rate on bio-fuel powered buses has been cut to 18 percent, from 28 percent.  The rate on diamonds and precious stones has been cut from 3 percent to 0.25 percent. Drinking water packed in 20-litre bottles will attract GST of 12 percent, instead of 18 percent earlier. Drip irrigation system including laterals, sprinklers will also attract lower GST of 12 percent, instead of 18 percent earlier. This move will highly benefit the farmers of our country. Under services, the council decided to exempt supply of services under the RTI Act. The council also exempted legal services provided to the government from GST. The council decided to reduce the tax rate on tailoring service from 18 percent to 5 percent. The admission to theme parks, water parks, joy rides, merry-go-rounds, go-carting, and ballet will now attract 18% GST, instead of 28%.

Leader of the GST council- Arun Jaitley

Mr. Jaitley also said that the GST provision requiring transporters, who supply goods intrastate, to carry an electronic waybill or e-way bill, when moving goods of over Rs. 50,000 in value, will be implemented from February 1. This move will help in checking tax evasion because the Government will have all the details of the goods above the value of Rs 50,000 moved and can check the discrepancy in case either the supplier or the purchaser does not file tax returns. The key points of the meeting also included the provisional distribution of Rs 35000 integrated GST between the central government and state government along with the fact that there was no decision made regarding real estate and this matter would be taken up in the next meeting. The GST council during its last meeting had reduced the tax rate of over 200 items. This move was very much welcome among the people. Initially, the implementation of GST was met with a lot of controversy and opposition. But the recent amendments regarding GST have made people comfortable with its concept.

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