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GST Council: Rates Changed for Some Products, Services

GST Council: Rates Changed for Some Products, Services

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NEW DELHI, June 22: The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the 53rd GST council has taken a lot of decisions relating to trade facilitation and easing the compliance procedures for small businesses, MSMEs and other taxpayers.

Ms Sitharaman on Saturday chaired pre-Budget consultations with finance ministers of states and Union Territories to take their views. It was followed by the 53rd meeting of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council.

Services by way of hostel accommodation provided to students outside educational institutions will be exempted from GST for services with a value of up to ₹20,000 per person per month, Ms Sitharaman said.

This will be subject to the condition that such services are provided for a minimum continuous period of 90 days. This will particularly help students coming from rural areas, and will be a big relief for all students across India.

The GST Council has clarified that all solar cookers will attract 12% GST, whether linked to single or dual energy sources, the finance minister said. The Council has also decided to exempt services provided by the Indian Railways to the common man such as waiting room, cloak room and so on, from GST. Purchase of railway tickets and payments for waiting room and cloak room charges have been exempted from GST. Similarly, no GST will be levied on services provided like battery-operated vehicles and all intra-railway services.

The Council has decided to mandate biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for all GST registrations across the country in a phased manner. This is based on the successful rollout of pilot projects in Gujarat and Puducherry and will make the registration process quick while curbing the fraudulent use of input tax credits through fake invoices.

GST Council exempts services by way of hostel accommodation outside educational institutions up to ₹ 20,000 per person per month. However, the condition will be the student must have stayed in the hostel for a continuous period of 90 days. The condition has been introduced to prevent hotels from taking advantage of the exemption. The GST council recommended waiver of interest on penalties on tax demand notice, and a uniform rate of 12 per cent on milk cans.

In the pre-Budget meeting, Ms Sitharaman underlined the Centre’s support to states through timely tax devolution and GST compensation arrears to boost growth. She asked states to take advantage of the scheme under which the Centre gives 50-year interest-free loan to states for undertaking specified reforms.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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