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GST Council meet Updates: Tax relief for hotels; caffeinated drinks get costlier

GST Council meeting: "Several decisions have been taken in order to promote tourism," FM Nirmala Sitharaman stated before announcing rate cuts on hotel bills

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 20, 2019  | 22:17 IST
GST Council meet Updates: Tax relief for hotels; caffeinated drinks get costlier
FM Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the 37th GST Council meeting in Goa. File image/PTI

The GST Council on Friday anounced reduction in tax rates for the hotel industry, taking the entire sector out of the 28 per cent tax slab, the highest under the GST regime. The all-powerful panel also announced tax relief for outdoor catering, bringing down the GST rate for the service to 5 per cent from the earlier 18 per cent. There was no joy for the ailing automobile sector, though, which has been clamouring for a rate cut in face of its worst sales performance in the past two decades.

In a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the GST Council decided to increase taxes on caffeinated drinks - which includes cold drinks and energy drinks - to 28 per cent from 18 per cent. An additional cess of 12 per cent has been imposed on such beverages.

Addressing a press meet after the GST Council meet, FM Sitharaman said that the ministerial groups under the panel should meet more often for prompt resolution of rate issues.

ALSO READ:GST council meet: FM Sitharaman likely to recommend tax cuts on 20-25 products

Follow BusinessToday.In for LIVE updates from the GST Council meet:

9:12 pm: The recommendations of the GST Council will be implemented from October 1, 2019.

9:10 pm: Supply of goods and services to FIFA and other specified persons for U17 Women's World Cup in India exempted from GST.

9:06 pm: Insurance provided to Central Armed Paramilitary Forces to be exempt from GST.

9:04 pm: Prospectively, warehousing of certain agricultural products has been exempted from GST.

9:01 pm: Hotels with room tariff of Rs 1000 or less will attract nil GST. Those with Rs 1,000- Rs 7,500 will attract 12 per cent GST. Hotels with tariff of Rs 7,500 and above will be taxed at 18 per cent.

8:55 pm: Aerated drinks manufacturers no longer part of composition scheme, says the FM.

8:54pm: Composition cess on petrol vehicles with capacity of 10-13 persons reduced to 1 per cent. The same for diesel vehicles with similar capacity will be 3 per cent.

8:53 pm: Uniform rate of 12 per cent for woven and non-woven polyethylene bags, announces FM Sitharaman.

8:50 pm: Supply of silver, platinum from specified agencies to be exempt from GST, says the FM.

8:49 pm: Caffeinated drinks will attract 28 per cent with an additional cess of 12 per cent, says FM Sitharaman.

8:48 pm: Railway wagons, coaches, rolling stocks to be taxed at 12 per cent instead of earlier 5 per cent, says the FM.

8:46 pm: Defence goods not being manufactured indigenously has been exempted from GST/IGST, announces FM Sitharaman.

8:45 pm: GoMs should meet more often, without delay, for quicker resolution of rate issues, says the FM.

8:43 pm: Several decisions taken to promote tourism, says FM Sitharaman

8:43 pm: FM Sitharaman addresses the press after GST Council meet.

7:34 pm: The GST Council has reportedly given relief to the hotel industry. According to sources, hotels with tariff of Rs 7,500 and above will be taxed at 18 per cent, whereas those with tariff in the range of Rs 1,000-7,500 will be taxed at 12 per cent. Those below Rs 1,000 have been exempt from the tax regime, sources said.

7:32 pm: The GST Council has decided to increase tax rate on caffeinated drinks, reports suggest. The proposal was to increase GST rates on such beverages from 18 per cent to 28 per cent, and impose an additional cess of 12 per cent.

4:54 pm: A discussion on extension of GST cess on select products like automobiles and tobacco is likely to happen at the GST Council meeting in Goa today. The states have been seeking an extension of GST cess till 2022 in the face of dropping GST revenue collection in the wake of economic slowdown.

4:49 pm: Decision on a single GST rate for lotteries is expected to come today. The matter has been on the agenda of several past GST Council meetings.

4:33 pm: Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, shares images from inside the GST Council meeting today.

4:32 pm: Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of New Delhi, pointed that something big is about to happen at the GST Council meet in Goa.

4:14 pm: Some taxpayers have been demanding immediate attention towards simplification of return filing mechanism. There is a proposal to exempt taxpayers with turnover below Rs 2 crore from filing an annual return for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

4:08 pm: Tax relief for FMCG and hospitality sectors is also on the agenda for the GST Council meeting. The all-powerful panel might take a call on this today. As of now, GST on hotel tariff exceeding Rs 7,500 is 28 per cent. The proposal is to lower it to 18 per cent. On outdoor catering, the GST is 18 per cent, the demand is to cut the rate to 5 per cent.

4:04 pm: With GST mop-up falling short of Rs 1 lakh crore, the GST Council might even consider hiking tax rates for some 'sin goods' like tobacco products and such.

3:18 pm: Auto sector, going through its worst sales performance in over two decades, has been demanding some relief under GST to rejuvenate sales. This is highly unlikely, though, as such a move with cost Rs 40,000-45,000 crore in foregone revenue.

3:15 pm: Although several sectors are clamouring for rate cuts, any leeway in GST would come from intense debate between Centre and some states. Several states have cautioned against rate cuts, citing revenue implications. The fitment committee under the GST Council has already ruled against lowering taxes on more than 200 items on similar grounds.

2:50 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the 37th GST Council meeting in Panaji, Goa.

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