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May 30, 2021 / 12:11 PM IST

GST Council Meeting Highlights | Support govt's announcement post GST council meeting on Amnesty scheme: Cygnet Infotech's MD Niraj Hutheesing

43rd GST Council Meeting Highlights: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Council has decided to exempt IGST on free COVID related supplies upto August 31. So far, the IGST exemption was available only when you were importing free of cost.

GST Council Meeting Highlights: After a gap of seven months, the GST Council meeting will be held on May 28, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's office said on May 15. This comes as a number of states have sought GST rate cuts on essential Covid supplies, and have been seeking a Council meeting to discuss the matter. The finance minister will chair the 43rd GST Council meeting

via video conferencing at 11 AM in New Delhi on 28th May 2021. The meeting will be attended by Minister of State Anurag Thakur besides Finance Ministers of States & Union Territories and senior officers from Union Government & States, her office tweeted from its official account. Three issues are likely to dominate the discussions: One, an extension of the GST compensation regime beyond 2022; Two, tax-free status for goods and services related to COVID relief; and Three, correcting inverted duty structure and bringing petroleum goods under the GST ambit.

Notably, the GST Council meeting comes at a time when many states are forcefully demanding that taxes should be removed or reduced for oxygen cylinders, ventilators, concentrators, and life-saving drugs like Remdesivir, which many COVID-19 patients need. This month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will chair the council meeting, had spelt out the Centre’s stand on cutting rates on various GST supplies. Sitharaman, in her response to a letter from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said that exempting domestically produced and commercially imported items from GST would make manufacturers unable to avail input tax credit, which in turn could lead to higher prices for customers. The Centre has already exempted integrated GST on a number of imported items such as concentrators, medical-grade oxygen, ventilators, and life-saving drugs which come in through the donation route.

Meanwhile, the shortfall in GST compensation payable to states in the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 2.69 lakh crore, of which Rs 1.58 lakh crore would have to be borrowed this year. The Centre expects to collect over Rs 1.11 lakh crore through cess on luxury, demerit and sin goods which will be given to the states to compensate them for the shortfall in revenue arising out of GST implementation. The remaining Rs 1.58 lakh crore would have to be borrowed to meet the promised compensation to states under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Under GST law, states were guaranteed to be compensated bi-monthly for any loss of revenue in the first five years of the GST implementation from July 1, 2017.
  • May 28, 2021 / 11:00 PM IST

    This Live blog session has ended. Stay tuned to MoneyControl for more updates. 

  • May 28, 2021 / 10:59 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Support the govt's announcement post GST council meeting on Amnesty scheme: Infotech's MD Niraj Hutheesing


    Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director, Cygnet Infotech: "We support the government's announcement post today's GST council meeting on the Amnesty scheme, that aims to ease the compliance burden. As mentioned by the honorable Finance Minister, 89% of the GST taxpayers are small taxpayers, be it traders and retailers or even MSME’s. And therefore, to ease compliance during this pandemic, the law committee of the Council will look into issues involving Quarterly Returns Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme for GST returns. Additionally, the GST Council has also taken various decisions from exempting the import of COVID-related relief materials meant for donation to bringing in an amnesty scheme for SMEs to provide relief in late fees. All of these decisions are collectively going to benefit common people and small and medium businesses."

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  • May 28, 2021 / 09:58 PM IST

    EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said "As expected, on the issue of compensation to States, the Gst Council adopted the last year formula of borrowing and passing it as back to back loan to the states. However, it would be interesting to see the outcome of the special session that the Finance Minister said would be held to deliberate whether the compensation should be given to the States beyond the original period promised of 5 years."

    He added, "The 43rd GST council meeting was much awaited by the Industry players seeking reliefs from the government in these tough times of pandemic. Considering this, the GST Council headed by the finance minister has extended the current exemptions for COVID relief goods upto August 2021, and proposed to set-up a GoM committee by tomorrow to look into further exemptions that can be provided on account of Covid relief measure. The businesses might be slightly disappointed having to further wait upto 8 June to get a final decision on the additional GST exemptions for Covid relief activities, when the GoM will submit its report."

  • May 28, 2021 / 09:26 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Interest of Centre, States is to ensure all Indians get vaccines in time: FM Sitharaman 


    On the issue of vaccines, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "The interest of the Centre and all States/UTs is to ensure that Indians get vaccines in time and that states get due share of revenue in time, a balanced view is maintained, as witnessed in today's meeting." 

  • May 28, 2021 / 09:15 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Economy not suffering compared to last year when there was complete lockdown: Tarun Bajaj 


    Union Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj while answering questions of the media on economic impact said that Indian economy is not suffering as much this year as compared to last year when there was complete lockdown. 

    He said, "So, even if we are able to collect Rs 1.1 Lakh crore per month on average, our deficit for the year would be Rs 1.5 lakh crore."

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  • May 28, 2021 / 09:12 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | COVID-19 vaccine being purchased by Centre and states, GST on it is coming back to them: Tarun Bajaj 


    Union Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj, however gave a twist to the point of giving vaccines free of cost by saying, "But the question arose whether lowering GST will benefit Pvt. hospitals (the intermediary) or to end-user, the citizen." He added that COVID-19 vaccine is being purchased by Centre and states and GST on it is coming back to them.

    He further added that similar question was raised during the meeting whether lowering GST on ventilators will benefit end-users (the patients) or only benefit private hospitals, considering government hospitals who purchase the ventilators get back the GST purchased on them. 

  • May 28, 2021 / 09:05 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | All central government vaccine supply to states is free of cost: FM Sitharaman 


    On the issue of vaccines, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "If you take ventilators as an example ....if bought by government hospitals, government collects the GST. If relief provided to private hospitals will this again pass on consumers."

    Adding more the Union FM added that all central government vaccine supply to states is free of cost. She said, "If total vaccines available is 100, 50% is bought by Centre & supplied to States for free; 25% procured by States, 25% by private hospitals. Vaccines supplied by Centre to States is free of cost & utilized through government hospitals." She also said that Centre's vaccine supply to states, including Tamil Nadu has not decreased. 

  • May 28, 2021 / 08:57 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | On GST compensation cess, same formula as last year to be adopted this year too: FM Sitharaman 


    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "On GST compensation cess, same formula as last year to be adopted this year too."

    She added that rough estimate is that Centre will have to borrow Rs 1.58 Lakh Crore and pass it on to states.  

  • May 28, 2021 / 08:55 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Law Committee will look into issues involving quarterly return filing, quarterly payment: FM Sitharaman 


    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Law Committee will look into issues involving quarterly return filing and quarterly payment." She added that the modalities need to be worked out. 

  • May 28, 2021 / 08:53 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Annual Return Filing will continue to be optional for 2020-21, for small taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 2 Crore: FM Sitharaman 


    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Annual Return Filing will continue to be optional for 2020-21, for small taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 2 Crore."

    She added that reconciliation statements for 2020-21 to be furnished by taxpayers with turnover of Rs 5 crore or more.

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  • May 28, 2021 / 08:51 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Not appropriate time for correction in inversion duty, so this remains where it is: FM Sitharaman 


    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Like last year, GST Council felt that this is not the appropriate time for correction in inversion duty, so this remains where it is."

  • May 28, 2021 / 08:45 PM IST

    GST Council Meet LIVE | Amnesty scheme recommended for reducing late fees payable by small taxpayers: FM Sitharaman 


    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "In order to provide relief to the small taxpayers, an amnesty scheme has been recommended for reducing late fees payable."

    She added, "This will benefit around 89% of GST taxpayers. They can now file their pending returns & avail benefits of scheme, with reduced late fees."

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