GST Council Meeting
What happened at the 49th GST Council? ( The GST Council Meeting)
What is the GST council –
Goods and Services Tax Council is a constitutional body under Article 279A(1), Headed by the union Finance Minister and has the Union Minister of State for Finance Ministers or any other ministers appointed from the state governments as members. The secretariat office is situated in New Delhi and Union Revenue Secretary acts as the ex-officio Secretary to the GST council. the Supreme court made it clear that the Council is only a recommendatory body and its recommendations are not binding on centers or states.
What does the GST council do?
The council’s main task is to make recommendations to the union and the states on important issues related to GST, like –
The goods and services that may come under the banner of GST.
Model GST laws. Principles that govern the place of supply.
GST rates including the floor rates with bands.
Special rates for raising additional resources during natural calamities.
The appointment of Goods and Services Tax levied on supplies in the course of inter-state trade or commerce under article 269A.
How the decisions are taken?
The council must have at least 50% of members present to be able to hold a meeting and make recommendations. The suggestions made by the council need a three-fourth majority of the members present and voting in the meetings.
What has happened now?
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamnan today chaired the 49th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax council, in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Compensation to states –
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who chaired the day-long meeting, also decided to immediately release compensation cess doors to states totaling over RS 33,500 crore. This includes the pending dies of Rs 16,982 crore to 23 states for June 2022, the last month of the five-year compensation period. “Since there is no amount in the GST compensation fund, the center has decided to release this amount from its resources and the same will be recouped from future compensation cess collections,” Sitharaman said after the council’s meeting.
GST rates –
In another announcement, the FM said that the GST council has decided to reduce the GST rate on liquid jaggery from 18% to nil or 5%. On pencil sharpeners, the GST rates were reduced from 18% to 12%. Also, there is a reduction in GST on tags tracking devices or data loggers which are affixed on durable containers, from 18% to nil, subject to some conditions, said FM Sitharaman. The government will also rationalize the late fee for delayed filing of annual returns. Particularly for GST form 9 from the year 2023 onwards.
In a relief to taxpayers falling under a lower tax slab rate, FM reduced such late fees for taxpayers with an annual turnover of up to rupees 20 cr.
The appellate tribunal –
The Goods and Services Tax council on Saturday gave its nod to all long-pending proposals for an appellate tribunal for the levy, broadly accepting the report of a ministerial group. The proposal will be included in the Finance Bill 2023. The council agreed to make some changes in the final text relating to the number of members and the selection of the members, revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra said. The principal bench and state boards would have two technical and two judicial members each, with equal representation from the center and states. While only one member will decide cases with disputes up to RS 50 Lakh.
Other key takeaways – Millet-based products –
Discussions did take place but there were certain reservations concerning the composition of the products. As a result, no decision could be arrived at.
On online gaming –
The finance minister also spoke about the GOM report on online gaming and said that the report has been submitted but the chair of the GOM Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma could not attend the meeting due to state elections. ” It is not appropriate to discuss the report without him so we decided to wait on it,” their minister said.