GST slashed on 29 items, return filing to be simpler: Key points
NEW DELHI: The GST council huddled for its 24th meeting in Delhi on January 18. Following are the key takeaways of the meet:
* The all-powerful GST Council on Thursday slashed the tax rate+ on 54 services and 29 items, including old and used motor vehicles bio-diesel, while also simplifying return filing process for businesses.
* Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the panel at its next meeting may also consider bringing under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) purview items like petroleum and real estate which are currently outside the new regime.
* The Council cut GST rate on second-hand medium and large cars and SUVs from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and on other old and used motor vehicles to 12 per cent.
* Tax on diamonds and precious stones was slashed to 0.25 per cent from current 3 per cent.
* While tax rate for bio-diesel was slashed to 12 per cent from 18 per cent, that for public transport buses run on environment-friendly bio-fuels has been reduced to 18 per cent from 28 per cent previously.
* The rate on sugar-boiled confectionery, drinking water packed in 20 litre bottles, fertiliser-grade phosphoric acid, bio-diesel and drip irrigation system has been reduced from 18 to 12 per cent.
* Tamarind kernel powder, mehendi paste in cones and domestic LPG supplied by private distributors will attract a reduced duty of five per cent instead of 18 per cent.
* The exemptions from GST will, among other things, now apply to supply of services for providing information under RTI Act, legal services provided to government, local authority, governmental authority and government entity, transportation of goods from India to outside by air and sea.
* Services relating to admission or conduct of examinations provided to all educational institutions, entrance fees for entrance examination and for transportation of students up to higher secondary schools will also be exempt from taxation.
* Admission to theme parks, water parks, joy rides, merry-go-rounds, go-carting and ballet will now be taxed at 18 per cent instead of 28 per cent and on common effluent treatment plans services from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.
* The new rates would be effective from January 25.
* The Council also discussed process to make return filing simpler. Businesses at present have to file GSTR-3B as well as GSTR-1, which is the final invoice wise sales returns. Finance minister Arun Jaitley indicated that filing one return may be the only requirment going forth.
* Jaitley said the Council also reviewed GST collections, which have been steadily declining in recent months. “So far we have been relying on unilateral declaration of traders itself. It is necessary to bring in some anti-evasion measures,” he said.
* The finance minister further said that a nation-wide roll out of e-way bill will happen on February 1 for inter-state transportation of goods through roads. Additionally, 15 states have said they will also start off with e-way bill for intra-state movement of goods on the same day.
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