Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to attend 45th Goods and Services Tax (GST) meeting in Lucknow today on 17th September, 2021. It is the first in house GST council meeting after 20 months due to COVID-related restrictions enforced in the country.
Issues on priority to be discussed today in GST Council Meeting:
- Inclusion of petrol, diesel under the ambit of GST:
The GST Council is likely to discuss levying GST on petrol, diesel, motor, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel, according to sources. In this regard on 21st June, the Kerala High Court had issued a directive on the writ petition filed by the Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanavedhi that petrol and diesel should be included in GST, as fuel prices touched record-highs this year.
- Extension of GST Rate Reduction on COVID-19 essential medicines
It is likely to be discussed, extending the GST rate reduction from 12 per cent to 5 per cent on four important medicines required for the treatment of COVID-19 -Tocilizumab, Amphotericin B, Remdesivir and anti-coagulants such as Heparin – till 31st December, 2021. The rate reduction on these medicines are currently valid till 30th September, 2021.
- GST compensation shortfall to states after June 2022 period
The GST compensation of Rs 1,13,000 crore have been released to states since April 2020. However, the amount in the GST compensation fund is not adequate to meet the full compensation requirement because of COVID impact on GST and GST Cess collection, according to sources. The GST Council today may consider options that exist to make up for the GST compensation shortfall.
- Inclusion of food serving delivery services under GST
The GST Council is likely to discuss a proposal to treat food serving, preparation and food delivery services (including takeaway, door delivery services) as “restaurant service”. These services may attract a five per cent GST, according to sources. The Fitment committee has proposed that all e-commerce companies who are engaged in food delivery should be treated as restaurant services and taxed accordingly.