23rd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley was held in Guwahati, Assam on November 10, 2017. Decisions taken during this meeting of GST council has brought in a comprehensive overhaul of GST rates. Besides return filing has been eased and more relief has been provided to small and medium enterprises.
Highlights of 23rd GST Council Meeting:
GST rate on 177 items has been reduced from 28% to 18%. Now only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods will attract 28% GST rate.
- This decision will have a revenue implication of Rs 20000 crore annually.
- Some of the items for which GST rate has been reduced from 28% to 18% include chewing gum, dental hygiene products, chocolate, aftershave, detergent, marble, custard powder, deodorant, nail polishes and creams.
- Besides, 13 items have been moved from 18% to 12% slab, 6 items from 18% to 5% slab, 8 items from 12% to 5% slab and 6 items from 5% to nil.
- The new tax rates will come into effect from November 15, 2017.
- All restaurants across India (Air conditioned and non-Air conditioned restaurants), except those in five-star hotels will be levied GST of 5%, without input tax credit benefits
- The GST Council has also raised the threshold for the composition scheme to 1.5 crore from 1 crore. Under the composition scheme, traders are allowed to pay a fixed rate to avoid GST paperwork.
- For nil liability tax filers, fine for late filing of returns has been cut to 20 per day from Rs. 200.
Quick Facts about Goods and Services Tax (GST):
GST is a destination-based, single indirect tax that is levied on consumption of goods or use of services across India.
- It was rolled out in India from July 1, 2017.
- GST replaced 16 levies (7 central taxes and 9 state taxes), consequentially creating India as one market with one tax rate.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance MinisterArun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states have finalised four tax brackets under GST viz. 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.