Minutes of the 12th GST Council Meeting
The 12th GST Council meeting headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was held on 16th March, 2017 and the following issues were addressed :
- GST Council approves the Draft bill of SGST and UTGST Bills. The UTGST Draft Law is for the Union Territories like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which do not have legislative assemblies and thus not covered under the constitutional meaning of ‘State’.
- “The GST Council has granted its formal approval to all five legislations”. The GST Council in its last meeting had cleared the Central (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Bills. Previously, the GST Council had also approved a Draft Bill to compensate States for any revenue loss arising out of GST for a period of five years. Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley said after the meeting of the GST Council on Thursday, that he would try to present the draft laws to Parliament expeditiously.
- It may be noted that the Parliament Session adjourns on April 12 and passage of the Bills in the current Session is essential for the timely roll-out of the new tax system. The SGST Bill will be tabled in State Assemblies.
- GST Council caps cess on luxury goods at 15%. The GST Council also cleared a proposal to cap the cess on luxury cars and aerated drinksat 15% over the peak rate of 28%. However, the ceiling for the cess on “sin” goods would be much higher. It was said that for pan masala, the cap would be 135%. On tobacco and cigarettes, the cap would be 290% or Rs. 4,170 per 1,000 cigarette sticks. The cess on coal and lignite (environment cess) would have an upper limit at Rs. 400 per tonne. The council is yet to decide the exact levy. What was cleared in the meeting was the ceiling.
- The GST Council has opted to levy cess on five category of products – pan masala, chewing tobacco and cigarettes, luxury cars, aerated drinks and mineral water, and coal and lignite – to create a fund with a corpus of around Rs 50,000 crore for compensating states for any loss of revenue from GST implementation in the first five years.
- Nil rate of tax on supplies made to Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The supplies made to SEZs would be zero rated (a tax rate of zero) and considered as physical exports.
The next meeting of the GST council scheduled on 31st March, 2017 the following issues will be taken up:
- The GST Council will work out Rules on Composition, Valuation, ITC and Transitions. In the next meeting, the Council will take up the Rules on the above mentioned four categories and any changes to the already cleared Rules on five issues- Registration, Payment, Invoices, Returns and Refund.
- The GST Council meeting will next take up after the 31st March meeting the exercise of the fitment of the rates of various commodities in the Tax slab of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% and nil rated.