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Key Decisions from the 53rd GST Council Meeting

New Delhi: The next meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST Council Meeting) is tentatively scheduled for mid to late August, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The meeting will address pending agenda items from today’s session.

Key GST Exemptions

The GST Council has proposed exemptions for specific services offered by Indian Railways, including the sale of platform tickets and services like retiring rooms, waiting rooms, cloakroom facilities, and battery-operated car services.

Decisions on Compliance and Relief

Today’s GST Council meeting, presided over by FM Sitharaman, focused on easing the compliance burden and providing relief to taxpayers. The Council recommended waiving interest penalties on demand notices issued under Section 73 of the GST Act for fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20. Taxpayers who pay the full tax amount demanded in the notice by March 31, 2025, will benefit from this waiver.

Input Tax Credit (ITC) Extension

The deadline for claiming ITC on invoices or debit notes has been extended to November 30, 2021, for returns filed up to that date, covering fiscal years 2017-18 through 2020-21.

Monetary Thresholds for Appeals

To curb government litigation, the Council set monetary thresholds for filing appeals: Rs 20 lakh for the GST appellate tribunal, Rs 1 crore for high courts, and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court.

Deadlines and Rates Adjustments

The deadline for furnishing returns has been extended to June 30 for the fiscal year 2024-25 and subsequent years. The Council clarified a uniform GST rate of 12 percent for all types of sprinklers and accommodations valued up to Rs 20,000 per person per month provided for a continuous period of at least 90 days will be exempt.

Biometric Authentication and Rate Rationalization

The Council recommended the phased rollout of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for GST registration applicants. Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Chaudhary has been appointed Chairman of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Rate Rationalization, tasked with presenting a status report at the next meeting.

Uniform GST Rates

A uniform GST rate of 12 percent was recommended for milk cans, carton boxes, and solar cookers, supporting renewable energy initiatives.

Petrol and Diesel Under GST

Sitharaman reiterated the central government’s intent to bring petrol and diesel under the GST framework, emphasizing that the groundwork for this inclusion was laid during the initial implementation of GST. However, she noted that this move requires consensus among state governments.

Meeting Participation

The 53rd GST Council meeting was held at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, with the participation of Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa and Meghalaya, Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha, Finance Ministers from various States and Union Territories, and senior officials from both Union and State governments.

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