GST Council Meet | 19 Dec 2019

Why in News

Recently, GST Council held its 38th meeting with a first time vote on a proposal to tax all lotteries at the uniform rate of 28%.

  • The vote went in favour (21 states voted for and 7 states voted against) of the proposal and a uniform tax rate will come into effect from March 1, 2020.

Key Points

  • At present, there is a dual rate regime for lotteries, with state-run lotteries taxed at 12%, while state-authorised lotteries (run by private players) face a 28% tax rate.
  • The Council also decided to waive the late fee for GSTR-1 (monthly return that summarizes all sales/outward supplies of a taxpayer) taxpayers who have not filed returns from July 2017 to November 2019 if all the returns are filed by January 10, 2020.
    • If this deadline is missed, then e-way bills will be blocked for defaulters.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states, tax filing deadline for November has been extended to the end of the year keeping in mind the situation.
  • To facilitate the setting up industrial parks, the Council has decided that all entities with 20% ownership by central or state governments will be exempt from GST payable for long-term land leases from January 1, 2020.
    • Earlier, only entities with a 50% government stake were exempt.
  • It also imposed a uniform tax rate of 18% on woven and non-woven bags from January 1, 2020.

GST Council

  • It is a constitutional body under Article 279A. It makes recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax and was introduced by the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.
  • The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in-charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.
  • It is considered as a federal body where both the centre and the states get due representation.
  • Every decision of the Goods and Services Tax Council shall be taken at a meeting by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting, in accordance with the following principles, namely:
    • the vote of the Central Government shall have a weightage of one third of the total votes cast, and
    • the votes of all the State Governments taken together shall have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast, in that meeting.
  • Economic Survey 2017-18 also hailed the GST Council for its cooperative federalism technology which brings together the Center and States and can be applied to many other policy reforms.

Source: TH