Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman virtually chaired the 48th meeting of the goods and services tax (GST) Council meeting on December 17.The GST Council recommended three types of offences be decriminalized. No decision on taxation of tobacco and gutka was taken, despite it being among the prominent issues on the Council meeting’s agenda today
No tax increase on any item was announced at today’s meeting. Revenue Secy said GST on online gaming and casinos was not discussed as the report of GoM on the issue submitted its report only a couple of days back. The report of the GoM was not even circulated to GST Council members, he added.
GST reduction on husk on pulses was announced. Tax on husk reduced to nil from five percent. Ethyl alcohol or biofuel- supplied to refineries for blending with motor spirit (petrol) down to five percent from 18 percent.
The issue of mechanism to curb tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses could not be taken up.
GST rate on “ethyl alcohol supplied to refineries for blending with motor spirit (petrol)” has been reduced from 18 percent to five percent.
In another key decision, the GST Council has doubled the threshold for launching prosecution to Rs 2 crore. It has further decided to reduce the compounding amount from the present range of 50 to 150 percent of tax amount to the range of 25 to 100 percent.
The offences which are to be decriminalised are – “obstruction or preventing any officer in discharge of his duties”; “deliberate tempering of material evidence”; and “failure to supply the information”, stated the government’s press release.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the GST Council could not discuss the taxation on tobacco and gutkha due to paucity of time today. No decision has been taken on the next meeting of the GST Council, she added.
The 48th meeting of GST Council had 15 items on agenda, of which 8 were completed and the rest will be finished at the next meeting, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the press briefing. 2 GoM issues could not be taken up today, including setting up of a GST tribunal.
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