The 49th GST council meeting chaired by the Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, discussed many issues at length but delivered only on a few fronts. While a lot was expected from the meeting, only the following major points were the outcome:

  • Exports of pan masala, gutka, and chewing tobaccos are to be allowed against LUT only.
  • No capacity-based taxation for Pan-masala, Gutkha, and other tobacco-related items as such levy is against constitutional provision because under GST, ‘supply’ is the taxable event, not the capacity of the machines.
  • Compensation cess levied on pan masala, gutkha, and chewing tobacco to be changed from transaction value to MRP-based levy.
  • Extension of time limit for application for revocation of cancellation of registration from 30 days to 90 days
  • One-time amnesty scheme for past cases of GST cancellation on account of non-filing of the returns, but the application for revocation of cancellation of registration could not be filed within the time.
  • Late fee for filing GSTR-9 for FY 2022-23 reduced from Rs 200 per day to Rs 50 per day (Rs 100 per day if turnover exceeds five crores) subject to a maximum of 0.04% of turnover
  • One-time amnesty scheme in respect of pending returns in FORM GSTR-4, FORM GSTR-9, and FORM GSTR-10 by way of conditional waiver/ reduction of late fee
  • Rationalization of provision of a place of supply of services of transportation of goods
  • Entire Rs 16,982 crore of GST compensation cess to states for June 2022 are to be cleared immediately
  • Decision on GST Appellate Tribunal accepted with language change. The modification in the draft will be circulated in the next 5-6 days. The final report is likely to be passed by early March.
  • GST Council decides to reduce GST on pencil sharpeners, and specific tracking devices
  • Exemption on coal rejects supplied by and to the washeries approved by Council.
  • GST on a type of liquid jaggery is reduced to nil from 18% if it is loose. If it is pre-packaged and labeled, the tax rate on this will be 5%, nil if it is loose -GoM report on taxation for pan masala accepted
  • GST Council also recommended rationalization of late fees for delayed filing of annual returns

Reduction of tax on Cement and Millet-based items did not garner any decision. Nor was any recommendation finalized for the fitment committee for SUVs and MUVs. These topics and the tax on online gaming will now have to wait for the 50th GST council meeting.