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Finance Minister  Smt Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 45th goods and service tax (GST) Council meeting on Friday, September 17, in Lucknow.

The 45th GST Council meeting will be the first on-ground meeting in around 20 months, as the last such meeting was conducted in 2019 before restrictions were enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expectations from the 45th GST Council Meeting

What is the expectation analysis by the experts?

  • The Council is likely to discuss GST compensation shortfall to states - which are reeling under financial constraints amid the pandemic.
  • Compromises on both Central and State Government on the revenue collected from taxing of products.
  • Likely to discuss on rationalizing an inverted duty structure on the supply chain of certain items, bringing petrol and diesel under GST, extending the GST exemption on Covid-essential items, and deciding the future of profiteering cases since the tenure of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority ends in November.
  • Certain anomalies where tax outgo on raw materials exceeding that on finished products - known as inverted duty structure - are also likely to figure in the meeting.
  • Inclusion of petroleum products in GST is a long-pending issue.
  • Likely to a discussion on extending the tenure of the compensation cess, to focus on correcting the inverted duty structure on certain products.
  • Food Delivery apps to be treated as restaurants
  • The GST Council may deliberate on including food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy within the ambit of restaurant services and levy 5 percent GST.
  • Extension on concessional rates for Covid-19-related drugs

GST Nominated Fitment Committee has rejected several proposals of the GST rate change. What might not be in favour?

  • APIs from 18% to 12%
  • Metal scrap from 18% to 5%
  • Stevia which is natural sweetener from 18% to 5%
  • Oil used for lamps 12% to 5%
  • Not in favour to reduce GST on
  • Ayush Products, Rubber, Cotton, Recycled Polyester,Engines for gensets, Air cooler, Ceiling Fan, Electronic iron, Household Water filter, Pedestal fan, Solar boats, LPG conversion kits, Whole milk powder, Yarn products by NTC, PVC tufted coir mats, Newsprint, Tyres for agricultural use Lithium ion batteries.
  • Not in favour of allowing ITC on sanitary napkins

What Experts say?

"There are certain items that are not covered under GST such as Petroleum products, alcoholic liquor and electricity. The reason is that these items contribute a remarkable amount of revenue to the states and Central. The GST Council might on Friday consider taxing petrol, diesel and other petroleum products under the single national GST regime, a move that may require huge compromises by both central and state governments on taxing these products. If petroleum is brought under the GST regime, both (central and state) the taxes would be merged and prices would be uniform across the country and there is a high possibility that we see a significant fall in the prices due to the elimination of cascading effect of tax on tax," said Abhishek Soni, Co-Founder & CEO, Tax2win.

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Category GST, Other Articles by - Poojitha Raam