At GST meet, no tax hikes, nod for pilot to tackle fake registrations


NEW DELHI: At its meeting on Saturday, the GST Council also recommended cutting the compounding amount from the present range of 50%-150% of tax amount to 25%-100% to reduce the workload of courts.

The council headed by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman met virtually and decided on a number of issues. Addressing a news conference after the meeting, the FM said the meeting had 15 items on the agenda and discussion on only eight could be completed as some state finance ministers had requested for an early end to the meeting as they had other committed business. She said the rest of the items would be taken up during the next meeting of the council, which she hoped would be an in-person one.
“In this council meeting, there has not been any tax increase on any item. Everything that has been done is to issue clarifications where ambiguity of interpretation prevailed,” said the FM.

Sitharaman said two group of ministers reports – one linked to capacity-based taxation of tobacco and gutka and the other related to the setting up of a GST tribunal – could not be taken up. The report of the GoM on online gaming and casinos was not on the agenda.

The council also decided to cut the tax rate on husk of pulses including chilka and concentrates including chuni/churi, khanda to zero from the current 5%. The tax rate on ethyl alcohol supplied to refineries for blending with motor spirit (petrol) has been reduced to 5% from 18%.

Incentive paid to banks by the central government under the scheme for promotion of RuPay debit cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions are in the nature of subsidy and thus not taxable.

On measures to streamline compliances under GST Meet, the council approved a proposal to conduct a pilot project in Gujarat for biometric-based Aadhaar authentication and risk-based physical verification of registration applicants. This will help in tackling the menace of fake and fraudulent registrations, according to an official statement.

GST meet it was also approved a proposal for PAN-linked mobile number and email address (fetched from the CBDT database) to be captured and recorded in FORM GST REG-01 and OTP-based verification to be conducted at the time of registration on such PAN-linked mobile number and email address to restrict misuse of PAN of a person by unscrupulous elements.

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