Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 38th meeting of Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council held on Wednesday. The GST council for the first time in 38th meeting chose the voting-system route to reach the consensus. Earlier, the decisions on various issues were taken unanimously in all 37 meetings of the GST Council to reach an agreement.
The GST council voted for imposing a uniform 28 per cent tax on both state-run and privately owned lotteries which will be applicable from March 1, 2020.
Commenting on beginning on a new tradition of voting in council, Union Finance Minister said, ‘Every attempt was made to keep the tradition alive but eventually council was reminded that tradition was not part of the rulebook. It was not imposed by the council or me but on a request from a member.’
Among other key decisions taken in the meeting include an extension for GSTR 9 filing date and relaxation on penalty for non-filing of GSTR1 from July 2017. The council has extended the GSTR 9 filling date by January 31, 2020 and waived off the late fee for those taxpayers who have not filed GSTR1 from July 2017 to November 2019.
The council also decided to reduce the GST rate to 18 per cent on woven and non-woven bags. It was also decided in the meeting to exempt from the tax the upfront amount payable for long-term leases of industrial plots in which the central or state government has a 20 per cent stake to facilitate setting up of industrial parks. Earlier, this facility was available to only those bodies in which the centre or state government has 50 per cent share
The council also decided to set up a grievance redressal committee at the regional and state level, which would include officers from both the Central GST and the State GST. The representatives from trade and industry also can join the committee.