53rd GST Council Meeting: Key announcements

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several key decisions after the 53rd GST Council meeting aimed at curbing tax evasion and promoting uniformity in taxation, including the pan-India rollout of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication to curb fake invoicing.

| Updated: 23 June, 2024 1:16 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several key decisions after the 53rd GST Council meeting aimed at curbing tax evasion and promoting uniformity in taxation, including the pan-India rollout of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication to curb fake invoicing.

“This will help us to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices in some cases,” she said at the press conference after the meeting. This measure is expected to bolster the integrity of the GST system by verifying the authenticity of transactions.

Furthermore, the council approved the exemption of GST on services provided by Indian Railways, such as platform tickets and battery-operated car services, aiming to ease financial burdens on commuters.

In a move to simplify tax procedures, interest and penalties for demand notices under section 73 of the GST Act have been waived. This decision is anticipated to provide relief to businesses facing compliance-related challenges.

ALSO READ: Finance Minister Sitharaman chairs pre-budget meeting 

The council also recommended a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all milk cans, regardless of the material used (steel, iron, aluminum), citing their standardized shape and purpose in dairy operations. Similarly, a uniform 12 per cent GST rate on all carton boxes and cases was proposed to aid apple growers in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In a bid to broaden exemptions, GST on services related to hostel accommodation outside educational institutions has been waived up to ₹20,000 per person per month, aiming to make affordable housing more accessible for non-student residents.

The central government reiterated its intent to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime, contingent upon consensus among states regarding the applicable tax rates. This move is poised to harmonize fuel taxation across the nation.

To streamline legal proceedings and reduce litigation, the council recommended monetary thresholds for filing appeals by the department in various courts. Appeals to the GST Appellate Tribunal, High Courts, and the Supreme Court will now require thresholds of ₹20 lakh, ₹1 crore, and ₹2 crore respectively, thereby aiming to minimize government involvement in legal disputes.

The 53rd GST council meeting chaired by Nirmala Sitharaman and attended by state finance ministers was held for the first time after the formation of the new government. It focused on tax amendments, Aadhaar biometric integration, and exemptions in railway services

Also Read Story

FIR filed against individual for lewd comments on Martyr’s widow

MHA empowers J&K LG, CS on Admin Secy’s transfers Pre-election

Sports heroes Dhoni, Tendulkar, Srikanth spotted at Anant-Radhika wedding

Anant Wedding| Aishwarya comes separately with daughter; not Jaya, hubby Abhishek