Raghavan Ramabadran, Executive Partner, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys Shares a Quick Byte On 45th GST Council
The GST council met in person on 17.9.2021, after nearly two years and announced people friendly measures which as the Finance Minister candidly accepted were ‘long pending’. Granting exemption for certain expensive life-saving medicines, the council also extended the concessional GST rates for COVID related medicines till 31.12.2021.
The council considered the directions of the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala regarding the inclusion of petroleum products into GST, but ruled out the possibility at this stage. The Council also expressed that collection of GST compensation cess may continue beyond July 2022 till 2026 to repay the borrowings made in the years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
In a bid to correct the inverted duty structure, the GST rate for goods like specified renewable energy devices has been increased. The rate changes in the footwear and textile industries will also be implemented w.e.f. 1.1.2022.
Another important announcement was regarding the constitution of two Group of ministers (GOMs). The first group will look into the aspect of GST rate rationalization and the other will be focused on use of technology to increase compliance and monitoring so as to catch the people who are ‘gaming the system’. It is to be seen how the reports of these GOMs will be placed before the GST Council and what changes will be recommended in the GST provisions.