Amid clamour for rate cut by various industries, the all powerful GST Council held a crucial meeting on September 20 to decide on tax moderation, keeping in mind the revenue position and the need to boost sagging economic growth.
The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all States and Union Territories (UTs), had its 37th meeting in Goa in the backdrop of economic growth hitting a six-year low of 5% for the first quarter of the current fiscal.
There have been demands pouring in from various sectors — from biscuits to automobiles and FMCG to hotels — to reduce tax rates in the wake of economic slowdown.
The following are the highlights of the 37th GST Council meeting held in Panaji on September 20, 2019.
All these rate changes will be effective from October 1 2019.
>> GST Council recommends lower 12% cess on 1,500 cc diesel, 1,200 cc petrol vehicles with capacity to carry up to 13 people.
>> Group insurance schemes for paramilitary forces under the Home Affairs ministry to be exempted from GST.
>> GST rate on caffeinated beverages raised from 18% to 28% with 12% compensation cess.
>> Uniform GST rate of 12% to be levied on polypropylene bags and sacks used for packing of goods
>> GST exempted on specified defence goods not manufactured in India
>> Rate levied on cut and polished semi precious stones has been dropped from 3% to 0.25%.
>> Jewellery exports to now attract zero GST.
>> GST on fishmeal used by fishermen being exempted from July 2017 to September 30 this year. There was lack of clarity on their GST coverage and no tax was collected so that has been resolved.
>> Aerated drink manufacturers shall not be under the composition scheme anymore.
>> Uniform GST rate of 12% to be levied on polypropylene bags and sacks used for packing of goods.
>> GST rate hiked on railway wagon, coaches from 5% to 12%.
>> Rate reduction on hotel accommodation services.
>> For Transaction value per unit per day of ₹1000 or less, will attract nil GST. For ₹1001 upto ₹7500, now the tax rate will be 12%. Anything above ₹7501 will attract 18%. It was 28% till now.
>> Job work services related to diamonds reduced from 5% to 1.5%. For machine job works in engineering industry, GST down from 18 to 12. But bus body building works still taxed at 18%.