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GST Council meeting highlights: Petroleum products to remain out of GST; period for concessional rates on COVID medicines extended

10:21 PM Sep 17, 2021 | Rashmi Sharma

Lucknow: The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meeting held at Lucknow deferred any decision on including petrol and diesel under its ambit. The union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman who presiding the GST council meeting in Lucknow on Friday said that this is not the right time to take decision on petrol and diesel. It was earlier expected that council in its physical meeting being held at Lucknow after nearly 16 months might include petrol and diesel under GST. However, the council reduced GST on the biodiesel used for blending from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

However, few of the states had opposed any such move to bring petrol and diesel under GST saying that it would affect their revenue receipts. While addressing media after the council meeting, the finance minister said that the proposal of reducing GST from 12 to 5 per cent to seven more drugs required in the treatment of Covid has been approved. This exemption would be applicable till December 31 this year. The earlier concession was allowed on these Covid drugs till September this year. She said that proposal for concessions on life saving drugs has also been approved. Drugs treating cancer would become cheaper now as the GST on it has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

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The finance minister said that the council has decided to levy tax on food supplying companies such as Swiggy and Zomato on restaurant service supplied through them. This tax will be charged at the point of delivery. The council has decided to scrap national permit fee charged by the states for goods carriage. Sitharaman informed that GST on fortified rice kernel has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. This is being used at the aanganbaadi centres mainly. The writing pens of all category will now be under 18 per cent GST. Earlier few of its categories were kept under 12 per cent GST slab.

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The finance minister said that council has approved increase in the GST on locomotive railway parts from 12 per cent to 18 per cent. Besides the 12 per cent, GST would be applicable on certain renewable devices. GST on ores and concentrates of various metals including iron, copper, zinc and others has been increased from 5 per cent to 18 per cent.

The GST council in its meeting has formed two group of ministers (GOM) to look into certain issues. While one GOM would look at the rate rationalization issues and submit report in two months, the other will see matters related to e-way bills, fastags and composition schemes.

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