VOL - 3 | PART - 21 | 18th September, 2021

The GST Council 45th meeting was held on 17th September, 2021 at Lucknow under the chairmanship of the Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. The GST Council has inter-alia made the following recommendations relating to changes in GST rates on supply of goods and services and changes related to GST law and procedure:

I.  Recommendations relating to GST rates on goods and services

  1. COVID-19 relief measure in form of GST rate concession

    A.  Extension of existing concessional GST rates (currently valid till
          30th September, 2021) on following Covid-19 treatment drugs, up
          to 31st December, 2021,namely-
          i.    Amphotericin B–nil
          ii.   Remdesivir –5%
          iii.  Tocilizumab - nil
          iv.  Anti-coagulants like Heparin –5%

    B.  Reduction of GST rate to 5% on more Covid-19 treatment drugs,
    to 31st December, 2021, namely:-
          i.  Itolizumab
         ii.  Posaconazole
        iii.  Infliximab
        iv.  Favipiravir
        v.  Casirivimab & Imdevimab
        vi. 2 - Deoxy - D- Glucose
       vii.  Bamlanivimab & Etesevimab
  2. Major recommendations on GST rate changes in relation to Goods [w.e.f 1.10.2021 unless otherwise stated]
    S. No. Description From To
    GST rate changes
    Retro fitment kits for vehicles used by the disabled Appl. rate 5%
    2. Fortified Rice Kernels for schemes like ICDS etc. 18% 5%
    3. Medicine Keytruda for treatment of cancer 12% 5%
    4. Biodiesel supplied to OMCs for blending with Diesel 12% 5%
    5. Ores and concentrates of metals such as iron, copper,
    aluminum, zinc and few others
    5% 18%
    6. Specified Renewable Energy Devices and parts 5% 12%
    7. Cartons, boxes, bags, packing containers of paper etc. 12%/18% 18%
    8. Waste and scrap of polyurethanes and other plastics 5% 18%
    9. All kinds of pens 12%/18% 18%
    10. Railway parts, locomotives & other goods in Chapter 86 12% 18%
    11. Miscellaneous goods of paper like cards, catalogue,
    printed material (Chapter 49 of tariff)
    12% 18%
    12. IGST on import of medicines for personal use, namely
    • Zolgensma for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
    • Viltepso for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    • Other medicines used in treatment of muscular atrophy recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Departmentof
    12% Nil
    13. IGST exemption on goods supplied at Indo-Bangladesh
    Border haats
    Appl. rate Nil
    14. Unintended waste generated during the production of fish meal except for Fish Oil Nil (for the
    period      1.7.2017

  3. Other changes relating to GST rates on goods

    A.  Supply of mentha oil from unregistered person has been brought
          under reverse charge. Further, Council has also recommended that
          exports of Mentha oil should be allowed only against LUT and
          consequential refund of input tax credit

    B. Brick kilns would be brought under special composition scheme
        with threshold limit of Rs. 20 lakhs, with effect from 1.4.2022.
        Bricks would attract GST at the rate of 6% without ITC under the
        scheme.GST rate of 12% with ITC would otherwise apply to bricks.

  4. Correction in inverted Duty structure in Footwear and Textile sector

    GST rate changes in order to correct inverted duty structure, in footwear and textiles sector, as was discussed in earlier GST Council Meeting and was deferred for an appropriate time, will be implemented with effect from 01.01.2022.
  5. In terms of the recent directions of Hon'ble High Court Kerela, the issue of whether specified petroleum products should be brought within the ambit of GST was placed for consideration before the Council.  After due deliberation, the Council was of the view that it is not appropriate to do at this stage.
  6. Major GST changes in relation to rates and scope of exemption on services (w.e.f 1.10.2021 unless otherwise stated)
    No. Description From To
    1. Validity of GST exemption on transport of goods by vessel and air
    from India to outside India is extended upto 30.9.2022.
    - Nil
    2. Services by way of grant of National Permit to goods carriages on
    payment of fee
    18% Nil
    3. Skill Training for which Government bears 75% or more of the
    expenditure [ presently exemption applies only if Govt funds 100%].
    18% Nil
    4. Services related to AFC Women's Asia Cup 2022. 18% Nil
    5. Licensing services/ the right to broadcast and show original films, sound recordings, Radio and Television programmes [ to bring parity
    between distribution and licencing services]
    12% 18%
    6. Printing and reproduction services of recorded media where content
    is supplied by the publisher (to bring it on parity with Colour printing of images from film or digital media)
    12% 18%
    7. Exemption on leasing of rolling stock by IRFC to Indian Railways withdrawn.
    8. E Commerce Operators are being made liable to pay tax on following services provided through them
    9. Certain relaxations have been made in conditions relating to IGST exemption relating to
    import of goods on lease, where GST is paid on the lease amount, so as to allow this exemption even if (i) such goods are transferred to a new lessee in India upon expiry or termination of lease; and (ii) the lessor located in SEZ pays GST under forward charge

  7. Classification in relation to GST rate on goods

    i. Pure henna powder and paste, having no additives, attract 5% GST rate under Chapter 14.

    ii. Brewers' Spent Grain (BSG), Dried Distillers’ Grains with Soluble [DDGS] and other such residues, falling under HS code 2303 attract GST at the rate of 5%.

    All laboratory reagents and other goods falling under heading 3822 attract GST at the rate of 12%.

    iv.  Scented sweet supari and flavored and coated illachi falling under heading 2106 attract GST at the rate of 18%.

    v.   Carbonated Fruit Beverages of Fruit Drink" and "Carbonated Beverages with Fruit Juice" attract GST rate of 28% and Cess of 12%.  This is being prescribed specifically in the GST rate schedule.

    vi. Tamarind seeds fall under heading 1209, and hitherto attracted nil rate irrespective of use. However, henceforth they would attract 5% GST rate (w.e.f. 1.10.2021) for use other than sowing. Seeds for sowing will continue at nil rate.

    vii.  External batteries sold along with UPS Systems/ Inverter attract GST rate applicable to batteries [ 28% for batteries other than lithium-ion battery] while UPS/inverter would attract 18%.

    viii.  GST on specified Renewable Energy Projects can be paid in terms of the 70:30 ratio for goods and services, respectively, during the period from 1.7.2017 to 31.12.2018, in the same manner as has been prescribed for the period on or after 1st January 2019.

    .ix.  Due to ambiguity in the applicable rate of GST on Fibre Drums, the supplies made at 12% GST in the past have been regularised. Henceforth, a uniform GST rate of 18% would apply to all paper and paper board containers, whether corrugated or non-corrugated.

    .x. Distinction between fresh and dried fruits and nuts is being clarified for application of GST rate of “nil” and 5%/12% respectively.

    xi. It is being clarified that all pharmaceutical goods falling under heading 3006 attract GST at the rate of 12% [ not 18%].

    xii.  Essentiality certificate issued by Directorate General of Hydrocarbons on imports would suffice; no need for taking a certificate every time on inter-state stock transfer.

  8. Classification in relation to GST rate on services

    i. Coaching services to students provided by coaching institutions and NGOs under the central sector scheme of ‘Scholarships for students with Disabilities” is exempt from GST.

    ii. Services by cloud kitchens/central kitchens are covered under "restaurant service’, and attract 5% GST [ without ITC].

    iii.  Ice cream parlor sells already manufactured ice- cream. Such supply of ice cream by parlors would attract GST at the rate of18%.

    iv.  Overloading charges at toll plaza are exempt from GST being akin to toll.

    v.  The renting of vehicle by State Transport Undertakings and Local Authorities is covered by expression ‘giving on hire’ for the purposes of GST exemption.

    vi. The services by way of grant of mineral exploration and mining rights attracted GST rate of 18% w.e.f.01.07.2017.

    vii. Admission to amusement parks having rides etc. attracts GST rate of 18%. The GST rate of 28% applies only to admission to such facilities that have casinos etc.

    .viii.  Alcoholic liquor for human consumption is not food and food products for the purpose of the entry prescribing 5% GST rate on job work services in relation to food and food products.

II.  On the issue of compensation scenario, a presentation was made to the Council wherein it was brought out that the revenue collections from Compensation Cess in the period beyond June 2022 till April 2026 would be exhausted in repayment of borrowings and debt servicing made to bridge the gap in 2020-21 and 2021-22. In this context various options, as have been recommended by various committees/ forums were presented. The Council deliberated at length on the issue. The Council decided to set up a GoM to examine the issue of correction of inverted duty structure for major sectors; rationalize the rates and review exemptions from the point of view of revenue augmentation, from GST. It was also decided to set up a GoM to discuss ways and means of using technology to further improve compliance including monitoring through improved e-way bill systems, e-invoices, FASTag data and strengthening the institutional mechanism for sharing of intelligence and coordinated enforcement actions by the Centre and the States.

III.  Recommendation relating to GST law and procedure
  1. Measures for trade facilitation

    A.  Relaxation in the requirement of filing FORM GSTITC-04:
    Requirement of filing FORM GST ITC-04 under rule 45 (3) the CGST Rules has been relaxed as under;

    i.  Taxpayers whose annual aggregate turnover in preceding financial year is above Rs. 5 crores shall furnish ITC-04 once in six months;

    ii. Taxpayers whose annual aggregate turnover in preceding financial year is upto Rs. 5 crores shall furnish ITC-04annually.

    B.  In the spirit of earlier Council decision that interest is to be charged only in respect of net cash liability, section 50 (3) of the CGST Act to be amended retrospectively, w.e.f. 01.07.2017, to provide that interest is to be paid by a taxpayer on “ineligible ITC availed and utilized” and not on “ineligible ITC availed”. It has also been decided that interest in such cases should be charged on in eligible ITC availed and utilized at 18% w.e.f. 01.07.2017.

    C. Unutilized balance in CGST and IGST cash ledger may be allowed to be transferred between distinct persons (entities having same PAN but registered in different states), without going through the refund procedure, subject to certain safe guards.

    D. Issuance of the following circulars in order to remove ambiguity and legal disputes on various issues, thus benefiting taxpayers at large:
  • Clarification on scope of “intermediary services”;
  • Clarification relating to interpretation of the term “merely establishment ofdistinctpersonin condition (v) of the Section 2 (6) of the IGST Act 2017 for export of services. A person incorporated in India under the Companies Act, 2013 and a person incorporated under the laws of any other country are to be treated as separate legal entities and would not be barred by the condition (v) of the sub-section (6) of the section 2 of the IGST Act 2017 for considering a supply of service as export of services
  • Clarification in respect of certain GST related issues:

     i.    W.e.f. 01.01.2021, the date of issuance of debit note (and not the date of underlying invoice) shall determine the relevant financial year for the purpose of section 16(4) of CGST Act, 2017.

    ii. There is no need to carry the physical copy of tax invoice in case where invoice has been generated by the supplier in the manner prescribed under rule 48(4) of the CGST Rules, 2017.

    iii.  Only those goods which are actually subjected to export duty i.e., on which some export duty has to be paid at the time of export, will be covered under the restriction imposed under section 54(3) of CGST Act, 2017 from availment of refund of accumulated ITC.

  • Provision to be incorporated in CGST Rules, 2017 for removing ambiguity regarding procedure and time limit for filing refund of tax wrongfully paid as specified in section 77 (1) of the CGST / SGST Act and section 19 (1) of IGST Act.

    2.  Measures for streamlining compliances in GST
             i.  Aadhaar authentication of registration to be made mandatory for
                 being eligible for filing refund claim and application for revocation
                 of cancellation of registration.

Late fee for delayed filing of FORM GSTR-1 to be auto-
                 populatedand collected in next open return in FORM GSTR-3B.

iii.  Refund to be disbursed in the bank account, which is linked with
                 same PAN on which registration has been obtained under GST

           iv.  Rule 59(6) of the CGST Rules to be amended with effect from
                 01.01.2022 to provide that a registered person shall not be allowed
                 to furnish FORM GSTR-1, if he has not furnished the return in
                 FORM GSTR-3B for the preceding month

           v.   Rule 36(4) of CGST Rules, 2017 to be amended, once the proposed
               clause (aa) of section 16(2) of CGST Act, 2017 is notified, to restrict
               availment of ITC in respect of invoices/ debit notes, to the extent the 
details of such invoices/ debit notes are furnished by the supplier in
               FORM GSTR-1/ IFF and are communicated to the registered
                person in FORM GSTR-2B

     3.  GST Council has also recommended amendments in certain provisions of the Act and rules.

Note: The recommendations of the GST Council have been presented in this release containing major item of decisions in simple language for information of all stakeholders. The same would be given effect through relevant Circulars/ Notifications/ Law amendments which alone shall have the force of law.

The information provided herein is for imparting knowledge on the subject and should not be construed as a legal opinion. The readers may seek professional advise prior to acting upon any of the information provided herein.
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