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GST Council Meet Highlights: Import of COVID relief items, Amphotericin-B exempted from IGST

43rd GST Council Meet: "The Council has decided to exempt the import of relief items even if they are purchased, if these are meant for donating to the government, or on recommendation of any state government to any relief agency. This exemption is extended till August 31, 2021," FM said

The 43rd GST Council meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Niramla Sitharaman, has just concluded. The council met for the first time in around eight months; the last meeting was held in October last year.

Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, finance ministers of states and union territories and senior officials from the Centre and states via video-conferencing.

Follow BusinessToday.In for LIVE updates from FM Sitharaman's press meet on 43rd GST Council meet:

8:46 PM: The ad-hoc exemption already available on COVID-related items acquired free has been extended till August 31, 2021, clarified Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj. The exemption will depend on the items you're importing, he added.

8:38 PM: The question was whether benefit of GST reduction on COVID vaccines will go the people, said Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj. Same question was raised regarding ventilators; the ministers wanted to look at these questions thoroughly, he added.

8:34 PM: Closer look GST relief for COVID-related items uncovered collateral impact on other items, thus a GoM was formed to devise the framework, said FM.

8:32 PM: A special session dedicated to compensation cess collection beyond July 2022 will be convened, said FM.

8:31 PM: Centre to borrow Rs 1.58 lakh crore to meet states' compensation demand this fiscal, FM said.

8:30 PM: Law committe to look into quarterly returns and quarterly payments, FM said.

8:29 PM: Annual tax filing has been simplified, FM said.

8:28 PM: GST late fee has been rationalised too, FM said. The rationalised late fee will come into effect for future tax returns, she said.

8:24 PM: Reduction of compliance burden for small and some medium taxpayers discussed, said FM. Late fee amnesty related matters have been decided upon, she added. "In order to provide relief to small taxpayers an amnesty scheme has been recommended for reducing the late fee payable in these cases. A large number of taxpayers will benefit from it."

8:23 PM: Group of ministers formed to submit report on reduction of rates on COVID-related items.

8:20 PM: Amphotericin-B has also been included in the exemption list for import tax relief, said FM Sitharaman.

8:17 PM: Issues of COVID-related items was one item in the agenda that saw detailed discussions, said FM Sitharaman. "The Council has decided to exempt the import of relief items even if they are purchased, if these are meant for donating to the government, or on recommendation of any state government to any relief agency. This exemption is extended till August 31, 2021," she said.

8:14 PM: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, others begin press conference on 43rd GST Council meet.

8:09 PM: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that he proposed complete tax waiver for COVID vaccines, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oximeter, PPE kits, sanitisers, masks, testing kit, etc, which was supported by Punjab, West Bengal, Kerala and other states. However, several finance ministers from BJP-ruled states strongly opposed the proposal.