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Intention of Centre to levy GST on petrol, diesel; States will have to decide on rate: FM

FM

NEW DELHI, JUNE 22: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the intention of the Central Government has always been to bring petrol and diesel under GST, and it is now up to the States to come together and decide on the rate.
She said a provision has already been made by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley by including petrol and diesel into GST law. What is remaining is for the States to come together to discuss and decide on the rate of the levy.
“The intention of the GST, as was brought in by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, was to have petrol and diesel in GST. It is up to the States now… to decide on the rate. The intent of my predecessor was very clear, we want petrol and diesel to come into GST”, Sitharaman said.
When GST was introduced on July 1, 2017, amalgamating over a dozen Central and State levies, 5 commodities ~ crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) ~ were included in GST law but it was decided that it would be taxed under GST at a later date.
This meant that the Central Government continued to levy excise duty on them, while State Governments charged VAT. These taxes, with excise duty, in particular, have been raised periodically.
Sitharaman said the intent of the Central Government when GST was implemented was that eventually sometime (later) petrol and diesel can be brought into GST.
“Provision has already been made that it can be brought into GST. One and only decision which is expected is for the States to agree and come to the GST Council and then decide what rate they will agree on.
“Once the States agree in the Council, they will have to decide what will be the rate of taxation. Once that decision is taken it will be put in the Act”, Sitharaman told Reporters after the 53rd GST Council meeting.
Including oil products in GST will not just help companies set off tax that they paid on input but will also bring about uniformity in taxation on fuels in the country.
Further, in a bid to reduce Government litigations, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Saturday that the GST Council has set a monetary threshold for the Tax Department to file appeals before various appellate authorities.
The Council has recommended a monetary limit of Rs 20 lakh for the GST Appellate Tribunal, Rs 1 crore for the High Court, and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court for filing appeals by the Tax Department, the Union Finance Minister said after the 53rd GST Council meeting held here.
The Tax Authority would generally not go for an appeal if the monetary limit is less than the one prescribed by the GST Council.
The Council has also recommended that the maximum amount for pre-deposit for filing appeal before the appellate authority be reduced from Rs 25 crore CGST and Rs 25 crore SGST to Rs 20 crore CGST and Rs 20 crore SGST, she said.
The GST Council has recommended a uniform rate of 12% on all milk cans, Nirmala Sitharaman announced.
The Finance Minister also informed that services provided by the Indian Railways such as sale of platform tickets, facility of retiring rooms and waiting rooms, are exempt from GST.
Additionally, she said, the Council has exempted services by way of hostel accommodation outside educational institutions to tune Rs 20,000 per person per month. It is meant for students or working class and exemption can be availed only if the stay is up to 90 days, she said.
(PTI, ANI & TNIE)

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