GST Council Meet: In a major step, the GST Council has exempted sanitary napkins from Goods and Services tax, Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia told the press. Earlier, there was a 12% levy of tax on sanitary napkins. Notably, another major agenda on the cards, relating to sugar cess also assumed focus, and the Delhi FM said that a report has been submitted for the same. In the same address, he said that the centre unilaterally transferred Rs 1.61 lakh cr of IGST in its kitty. While the meeting was still in progress this afternoon, CNBC TV18 reported citing sources that the GST council has approved filing of quarterly returns for taxpayers up to Rs 5 crore. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council met today for the 28th time to discuss some crucial changes in the new indirect tax regime, for the first time in its second year.
Also read: GST Council Meet: Rate cut brings big relief to consumers! Check full list of items with latest GST rates
In May, the GST Council had given an initial blueprint of the single return filing system, which is likely to be fully introduced in phases in 6-12 months time. One may expect more details about the new filing system that will be brought in to ease the processes for businesses and subsequently increase compliance. The GST collection had hit Rs 1 trillion-mark in April, followed by Rs 94,016 crore in May and Rs 95,610 crore in June. The move of the council is being seen as a step in the direction of simplifying the return filing process.
Watch Minister @PiyushGoyal briefing media about the decisions taken at the 28th Meeting of GST Council, at a press conference in New Delhi https://t.co/ATftq7ZcpC
— Piyush Goyal Office (@PiyushGoyalOffc) July 21, 2018
The council has approved 46 changes suggested to the proposed law, the channel reported unidentified sources as saying. Among the prominent issues on the table was the issue of sugar cess. Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is not in favour of imposing the cess, as they fear, it would be against the principle of the GST and detrimental to some states. The opinion of Attorney General KK Venugopal had also been sought.
Earlier, the fitment committee had sought exemptions on various items including marble and stone dieties too, which is currently taxed at the 12% rate. The committee had also suggested changes to the law pertaining to 10 other items, CNBC TV18 said. Among others, opinions were sought for Kolhapuri chappals and footwear with jute material.
Earlier, the council had revised rates on 29 items and some services in January. The biggest rate rationalisation decision was taken by the council in November 2017 when over 200 items were brought in to lower tax brackets from 28%, 18%, and 12%. The GST was launched on July 1, 2017, subsuming over a dozen indirect taxes.