GST council slashes rates to zero per cent on 29 items

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 19, 2018

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday chaired the 25th meeting of the goods and services tax (GST) Council, which recommended many relief measures regarding on several goods and services.

In the Council meeting, it was reaffirmed that e-way bill system would be rolled out from February 1 and 15 states are on board for obtaining intra-state bill, Jaitley's said.

The new process would be finalised in the next meeting of the GST Council after a written formulation is circulated to the states, he said.

The panel also revised GST rates for 53 services categories.

While, inclusion on real estate, electricity duty, and petroleum products did not appear in this meeting as they are expected in the next meeting of the GST Council, said by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the press conference after the conclusion of the meeting in New Delhi.

The Council also discussed revenue collections under the new levy and possible deterrent provisions.

The council chose to divide Rs 35,000 crore of integrated GST provisionally between the Centre and states.

The minister informed that the rates of 49 other items have also been rationalised.

As many as 15 states have chose to implement the provision for intra-state movements as well, he said.

The council made a decision to give tax impetus to the regional air connectivity by providing 3-year GST exemption to viability gap funding under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme.

Uttarakhand FM Prakash Pant stated that no decision has been made to take petroleum products and real estate into GST's ambit.

Discussions are expected to take place on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission for having a digital-based economy, with a focus on incentivisation of digital payment of taxes under the GST.

The council also decided that 3B returns filing will continue and suppliers can continue to load their invoices.

Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, presented a detailed model on filing GST returns. He said the rate of growth has been reasonably rapid in the last few quarters.

Jaitley said the Government is well ahead of target on direct tax collections.

Besides, the council is also considered easing of return filing process but deferred the decision.

The trouble is that the e-way bill has a validity that is linked to the distance the consignment travels: from one-day validity for a distance of less than 100km to 15 days for distances of more than 1,000km. The composition scheme is open for small businesses whose turnover does not exceed Rs. 1.5 crore.

"Composition scheme was seriously discussed". After implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) from 1 July, the requirement of carrying e-way bill was postponed pending IT network readiness.

Jaitley said that the Anti-Profiteering Authority will accept ₹119 crore from Hindustan Unilever Ltd on a provisional basis.

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