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 on 20th September 2019. In the backdrop of economic growth hitting as low as 5% for the first quarter of the current fiscal, there have been demands pouring in from various sectors to reduce tax rates.
The following are the highlights of the GST Council meeting:-
A) GST rates reduction-
B) GST rates recommended to be increased-
C) Export Promotion Measures
a) Exemption from GST/IGST:-
i. At the time of import on Silver/Platinum by specified nominated agencies
ii. Supply of Silver/Platinum by specified nominated agency to exporters for exports of Jewellery,
b) Inclusion of Diamond India Limited (DIL) in the list of nominated agencies eligible for IGST exemption on imports of Gold/ Silver/Platinum so as to supply at Nil GST to Jewellery exporters.
D) GST concession in certain cases for specific period
- 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 in view of the interpretational issues. However, any tax collected for this period shall be required to be deposited.
- Increase in the validity of conditional exemption of GST on export freight by air or sea by another year, i.e. till 30.09.2020.
E) Lower compensation cess for passenger vehicles
F) Other miscellaneous changes
- Aerated drink manufacturers shall not be under the composition scheme anymore.
- To exempt services provided by an intermediary to a supplier of goods or recipient of goods when both the supplier and recipient are located outside the taxable territory.