GST Council Meeting 2021: A big meet today of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which includes the Centre and states, is expected to decide on bringing petrol and diesel within the ambit of indirect tax and reducing taxes on COVID-19 medicines. This is the first on-ground GST Council meeting in almost 20 months. The last meeting was held in 2019, before the pandemic.
Big GST Meeting Today 1. GST on petrol, diesel
The meet will discuss bringing petrol and diesel within the ambit of GST. On June 21, the Kerala High Court had directed that petrol and diesel should be included in GST, as fuel prices touched record highs this year. The court said the GST Council, which includes the Centre and states, should consider it.
The meeting is likely to discuss levying GST on petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF), according to sources.
Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar have said that they are completely against any idea to include petrol, diesel under GST.
2. Extending reduced GST rates on essential Covid medicines
The Council is likely to discuss extending the GST rate reduction from 12 per cent to five per cent on four important medicines required for the treatment of COVID-19 – Tocilizumab, Amphotericin B, Remdesivir and anti-coagulants such as Heparin – till December 31. The rate reduction on these medicines is currently valid till September 30.
Earlier this year, the GST Council reduced tax rates on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator/generator and ventilators among other related medical devices from 12 per cent to five per cent – based on the recommendations of a group of ministers.
A GST compensation of ₹1,13,000 crore has been released to states since April 2020. However, the amount in the GST compensation fund is not enough to meet the full amount expected by states because of the impact of Covid on GST and GST cess collection, sources say.
4. GST on food delivery services
The GST Council is likely to discuss treating food delivery services (including takeaway, door delivery services) as “restaurant service”. These services may draw five per cent GST, according to sources.