The 52nd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax-GST Council was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary along with Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories.
Later, while giving information to the reporters, the Finance Minister said that apart from the GST Appellate Tribunal, many important decisions were taken in the meeting regarding the GST rates on millet and molasses. He said that the Council has decided to reduce GST on molasses from 28 percent to 5 percent, which will benefit the sugarcane farmers. The Finance Minister also said that if flour containing 70 percent millet is sold in the open, there will be no GST on it. But if it is sold packed and labeled then 5 percent GST will be levied on it.
Regarding the changes made in relation to the GST Appellate Tribunal, he said that the maximum age limit of the Chairperson of the Tribunal will now be 70 years instead of 67 years. This age limit for members has been increased from 65 years to 67 years. The minimum age limit for the post of President has been kept at 50 years. Minimum experience of 10 years has been made mandatory for advocates appointed as judicial members in the tribunal.
The Finance Minister also said that the GST Council has handed over the power to impose tax on extra neutral alcohol to the states. He said that the Council has recommended keeping extra neutral alcohol used in making liquor for human consumption out of GST. For this, the Law Committee of GST will consider necessary legal amendments.
The GST Council has also recommended exempting water supply, public health, sanitation protection, solid waste management and upgrading services provided by government bodies. The Council has also suggested that all supplies of goods and services by Indian Railways will be taxed under the forward charge mechanism so that they can avail input tax credit, which will reduce the expenses of Indian Railways.