GST meet to consider extension in duty cuts on Covid items

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 15

In the first physical meeting in 20 months, the GST Council will take a call on Friday on extending the cut in GST rates on several items crucial in the fight against the Covid pandemic.

It is also likely to recommend rate changes on textiles, footwear and fabrics as well as consider bringing petroleum products like aviation turbine fuel and natural gas within GST.

The GST Council meet may also discuss extending the compensation cess for states beyond 2022 by five years. However, the assumed annual revenue growth in the extension period could be lower than the present 14 per cent.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Council may also discuss the possibility of bringing diesel and petrol under GST. Reports say the matter could be brought before the GST Council meeting in Lucknow after the Kerala High Court had asked for it to be discussed.

The GST Council, however, is certain to take a decision on duty relief on Covid essentials such as medicines, oxygen and medical kits as the time period expires on September 30.

The Council will also discuss the fate of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) whose tenure ends in November. NAA was set up for two years, just after the rollout of GST, to deal with consumer complaints of companies not passing on GST rate cut benefits. As there are many pending cases, the Council will decide whether to extend its term or to pass on the cases to some other authority.

The Council may also approve a common comprehensive e-portal for registration, paying tax and filing returns. 

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