Image Source : PTI Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (June 22) chaired the 53rd GST council meeting, and made several announcements ahead of the Budget. “There is going to be a rolling out of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication on an all-India basis. This will help us to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices in the cases,” she said.

Here is a list of key announcements after the conclusion of GST Council meet:

  • Council recommended to prescribe 12 per cent GST on all solar cookers whether it has a single or dual energy source.
  • Services provided by Indian Railways to the common man, sale of platform tickets, facility of retiring rooms, waiting rooms, cloakroom services, battery operated car services are being exempted from GST. Further, intra-railway supplies are also being exempted.
  • Hostels which are for students outside of educational institutions are also being exempted. The council has recommended exempting accommodation services having a value of supply up to Rs 20,000 per person per month…These services are supplied for a minimum continuous period of 90 days.

  • Council recommended to prescribe a uniform rate of 12 per cent on all milk cans meaning steel, iron, aluminum which are irrespective of the use. They are called milk cans but wherever they are used that will be the rate applicable so that no disputes arise out of it.
  • The council also recommended recommended the reduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) on all kinds of carton boxes from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. It recommended to prescribe a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all carton boxes and cases of both corrugated and non-corrugated paper or paper board. This will in particular help the apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Council also clarified and recommended that the clarification be put out on that all types of sprinklers including fire water sprinklers will attract 12 per cent GST.

  • The GST Council had recommended extending the time limit for small taxpayers to submit their returns from April 30 to June 30, she said.
  • “In order to help small taxpayers, the Council recommended extending the time limit to furnish the detail and the returns in the form GSTR 4 from 30th April, the council has recommended that it be extended to 30th June. This will apply for returns for the Financial Year 2024- 25 onwards,” Sitharaman said.
  • In order to reduce government litigations, Sitharaman said the GST Council has fixed a monetary limit for filing appeals by the tax department before the various appellate authorities. It has recommended a monetary limit of Rs 20 lakh for GST Appellate Tribunal, Rs 1 crore for the High Court and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court for filing of appeals by the department before these legal forums, she said.

Sitharaman on bringing fuel under GST

When asked about the inclusion of fuel under GST, the Finance Minister said that the Centre wants to bring petrol and diesel under GST, however, it is the states who have to come together and decide on the matter.

“At the moment, the intention of the GST as it was brought in by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is to have the petrol and diesel in GST. It is up to the states to decide and come together and get petrol and diesel into GST. The intent of the Central Government is clear, we want the GST to include petrol and diesel…” she said.

When GST was introduced on July 1, 2017, amalgamating over a dozen central and state levies, five commodities — crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) — were included in GST law but it was decided that it would be taxed under GST at a later date. This meant that the central government continued to levy excise duty on them, while state governments charged VAT. These taxes, with excise duty, in particular, have been raised periodically.

(With inputs from agencies)