Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today chaired a meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council. The Finance Minister later briefed the media about the meeting and listed what was discussed in the meeting. The FM also said that the government does not have the luxury of time to defer GST implementation. “The official launch of the GST will take place on the midnight of 30th and 1st at a function in Delhi,” added FM Jaitley. GST will be launched at a special event in the National capital. Here are the key takeaways from the meeting held today:
1) The GST Council has today relaxed the return filing rules for businesses for the first two months after the GST regime is rolled out.
2) In a relief for hotels, the Council has raised the threshold from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500. This means that hotels which charge Rs 7,500 and above will now be taxed at 28 percent and not hotels which charge above Rs 5,000. Hotels which charge between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500 will now be taxed at 18 percent.
3) Restaurants in hotels will have to pay tax at the rate of 18 percent and will pay tax on par with air-conditioned hotels.
4) The Council will now tax lotteries at two separate rates. Lotteries which are state-run will be taxed at 12 percent and lotteries which are approved by the government will pay taxes at the rate of 28 percent.
5) The Council has decided that further consultations on e-way bills. till then an alternative or transient rule will prevail.
6) Income Tax preparedness was discussed at length during the meeting, 65.6 lakh entities have taken provisional registration.
7) GST Council had also cleared the anti-profiteering rule. FM said that the Council hopes that the government is not compelled to use the anti-profiteering rule.
8) The GST Council will meet again for its 18th meeting on the eve of the implementation of the GST Bill on June 30.