The 43rd GST Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman via video conferencing today i.e. 28th day of May, 2021 via video conferencing in New Delhi.
Union minister of state (MoS) for finance Anurag Thakur and finance ministers of states and Union territories (UTs) are also attending the virtual meeting, which is being held to finalise modalities to compensate states for their revenue shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore in the current financial year.
Proposal: It has been demanded that government exempt GST on hand sanitisers, face masks, gloves, PPE Kits, temperature scanners and other related medical equipment.
Previous meeting: The GST Council last met on 05.10.2020 and had decided to extend the levy of compensation cess beyond the transition period of five years for such period as may be required to meet the revenue gap and to increase the shortfall amount to Rs 1.10 lakh crores from Rs 97,000 crores under the borrowing option.
- 43rd GST COUNCIL MEETING KEY HIGHLIGHTS
The GST Council has made the following key decisions /recommendations:
- Council has decided to exempt import of relief items and is being extended till October 31, 2021
- Import of medicine for black fungus, that is Amphotericin B, has also been included in the exempted category.
- Import of Covid-related relief items, even if purchased or meant for donating to government or to any relief agency upon recommendation of state authority, to be exempted from IGST till August 31, 2021.
- Amnesty scheme: To provide relief to small taxpayers, an Amnesty scheme has been recommended for reducing late fee payable by mall taxpayers & medium-sized taxpayers. Amnesty Scheme Recommended to Benefit 89% GST Taxpayers.
- Rationalization of Late fee for Small Taxpayers to be applicable to future liabilities. Taxpayers can now file their pending returns and avail the benefits of this Amnesty scheme with reduced late fees. Maximum amount of late fee has been also reduced and will come into effect from future tax periods.
- Annual Return Filings under GST: The Annual Return filing will continue to be optional for FY 2020-21 for small taxpayers, having a turnover less than Rs 2 crores while reconciliation statements for 2020-21 will be furnished only by those taxpayers whose turnover is Rs 5 crores or more. A law committee will look into issues involving quarterly return filing and quarterly payment, the modalities for which are yet to be worked out.
- Session on Compensation cess: A special session dedicated to compensation cess collection beyond July 2022 will be convened. Centre to borrow Rs 1.58 lakh crore to meet states’ compensation demand this fiscal.
- GST Compensation cess formula from last year to be retained.
- New rates in exemptions: Group of ministers to be formed quickly, who will examine need for further reductions & decide on any new rates in exemptions and will submit the report on reduction of rates on COVID-related items by June 8, 2021.
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