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The all-powerful GST Council headed by the Hon'ble Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley met for the sixteenth time with an agenda to review the rates on basis of representation made by the Industries & Traders & take up pending Draft Rules. Ahead of this meeting, we have moved one step more closure towards GST rollout from July 1, 2017 as envisaged.

With the conclusion of the 16th GST Council meet on June 11, 2017, the gist of the key takeaways from the meeting of the GST Council are as under:

Revised GST rates for certain goods:

The GST Council has reduced the GST rates on 66 items i.e. nearly half the 133 items on which representations had been received including cashew nuts, packaged foods such as sauces and pickles, agarbatti, insulin, school bags, children's colouring books, cutlery and some tractor components etc. In this regard, the Hon'ble Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley has said that "in certain cases the rate fitment committee went beyond the equalization principle of maintaining the current tax incidence".

Gist of the Schedule of Revised GST Rates for Certain Goods:


Sl. No.

Description of Goods

Earlier GST Rate

Revised GST Rate

1.

Plastic beads

28%

12%

2.

Rough precious and semi-precious stones

3%

0.25%

3.

Aluminum foil

28%

18%

4.

Fixed Speed Diesel Engines

28%

12%

5.

Printers [OTHER THAN MULTIFUNCTION PRINTERS], Computer monitors not exceeding 17 inches

28%

18%

6.

Ball bearing, Roller Bearings, Parts & related accessories

28%

18%

7.

Transformers Industrial Electronics, Electrical Transformer

28%

18%

8.

Electrical Filaments or discharge lamps

28%

18%

9.

Insulin, Agarbattis, Cashew nut & Cashew nut in shell

12%

5% (in case of Cashew nut in shell, under reverse charge)

10.

Kitchen use items like pickles, mustard sauce, and morabba

18%

12%


Revised GST Rate for Certain Goods can be accessed at below link:
Click here

Decisions in regard to Services taken up by the GST Council: The GST Council has taken various decisions in regard to Services, which are discussed as under:

a. In the list of Service Tax Exemptions to be continued in GST as approved by the GST Council, after S. No. 83, the following has been inserted:


S. No.

Particulars

1.

Pure services (excluding works contract service or other composite supplies involving supply of any goods) provided to Government, a local authority or a Governmental authority by way of any activity in relation to any function entrusted to a Panchayat under Article 243G of the Constitution or to any function entrusted to a Municipality under Article 243W of the Constitution

2.

Services provided to the Government under any insurance scheme for which total premium is paid by Government

3.

Services provided to the Government under any training programme for which total expenditure is borne by the Government


b. In the Schedule of GST Rates for Services as approved by the GST Council, after S. No. 13, the following has been inserted:


S. No.

Description of Services

GST Rate

1.

Services by way of job work in relation to –

  • Textile yarns (other than man-made fibre/filament) & textile fabrics
  • Cut and polished diamonds; precious and semi-precious stones, or plain and studded jewellery of gold and other precious metals, falling under chapter 71 of HSN
  • Printing of books (including Braille books), journals and periodicals
  •  Processing of leather

5% with Full ITC

2.

Services by way of right to admission to exhibition of cinematographic films where the consideration for admission is Rs. 100 or less

18% with Full ITC


c. Exemption from registration under Section 23(2) of the CGST Act, 2017 has been extended to –

  • Individual advocates (including senior advocates)
  • Individual sponsorship service providers (including players)

Decisions in regard to Services taken by the GST Council can be accessed at below link:
Click here

Final approval to Draft Rules for Accounts & Records along with its Formats:

The GST Council has approved the following Draft Rule along with its Format which has been uploaded immediately after the GST Council's decision:

  • Final Rules for Accounts & Records
  • Final Accounts & Records Format

The aforesaid Final Rules along with its Format can be accessed at below link:

Further IGST Exemptions under GST:

Another list of IGST Exemptions under GST has been uploaded after the 16th GST Council meet, which are as under:

  • Bilateral Commitments - Imports under Agreement between India and Pakistan/Bangladesh for regulation of Bus Service
  • Technical Exemptions for Temporary Import/Re-Import

Another List of IGST Exemptions under GST can be accessed at below link:
Click here

Increased Threshold Limit for Composition levy:

It is to be noted that in terms of proviso to Section 10(1) of the CGST Act, 2017, the Government may, by notification, increase the limit of Rs. 50 lakh for Composition levy to such higher amount, not exceeding Rs. 1 crore, as may be recommended by the Council.

In this meeting, the GST Council has recommended increase in the turnover limit for Composition levy for CGST and SGST purposes from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 75 lakh in respect of all eligible registered persons i.e. Manufacturer, Trading & Restaurants. However, whether the same increased turnover limit for Composition levy will apply in case of Special Category States or not will be decided in the next GST Council meeting to be held on June 18, 2017.

Recommendation pertaining to Revised Threshold Limit for Composition Levy can be accessed at below link:
Click here

Our Comments:

In the next meeting of the GST Council, which is scheduled to be held on June 18, 2017, the GST Council will take up residual issues such as approval to pending Draft Rules like E-way Bill etc., and rate for lottery.

The Government is making all decent efforts to ensure rolling out of the biggest indirect tax reform from July 1, 2017 such as reduction in GST rates, launching of twitter handle to answer the queries etc. Mr. Aurn Jaitley said that "Irrespective of the date on which it starts, some people will say they are not ready, so they have no option but to get ready", thus further firming the proposal to implement GST from July 1. Nonetheless, it is time now for the Industry to gear up and join the marathon to ensure their hassle-free & smooth transition to GST.

Source: Business Standard, Economic Times etc., and video capturing the press conference of Mr. Arun Jaitley after 16th GST Council Meet ends

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