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GST Council recommends changes in the rate on services at its 31st meeting

posted on 31st December 2018
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In its 31st meeting held on December 22, 2018, in New Delhi, the GST Council took the following decisions relating to changes in GST rates, ITC eligibility criteria, exemptions, and clarifications on connected issues.

Following are the decisions of the GST Council. The same would be given effect through gazette notifications/ circulars, which shall have the force of law.

Reduction in GST rates/exemptions on services:

  • GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs 100 shall be reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent and on cinema tickets upto Rs 100 from 18 percent to 12 percent.
  • GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles shall be reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent.
  • Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.
  • Services supplied by rehabilitation of professionals recognised under Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992, at medical establishments, educational institutions, rehabilitation centers established by Union government / State government or Union Territories or entity registered under section 12AA of the Income-tax Act shall be exempted.
  • Services provided by GTA to Government departments/local authorities which have taken registration only for the purpose of deducting tax under Section 51 shall be excluded from payment of tax under RCM and the same shall be exempted.
  • Exemption on services provided by Union or State government or Union Territory government to their undertakings or PSUs by way of guaranteeing loans taken by them from financial institutions is being extended to guaranteeing of such loans taken from banks.
  • Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government under bilateral arrangements, shall attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in the economy class (i.e. five percent with ITC of input services).

Rationalisation

  • Parliament and State legislatures will be extended the same tax treatment with regard to payment of tax under RCM (reverse charge mechanism) as available to Union and State governments.
  • Security services (supply of security personnel) provided to a registered person, except government departments which have taken registration for TDS and entities registered under composition scheme, shall be put under RCM.
  • Services provided by unregistered Business Facilitator (BF) to a bank and agent of Business correspondent (BC) to a BC shall be put under RCM.

Clarifications

  • To clarify that with effect from January 31, 2018, degrees/ diploma awarded by IIMs under IIM Act, 2017, will be exempt from GST.
  • To clarify that the services provided by IFC and ADB are exempt from GST in terms of provisions of IFC Act, 1958 and ADB Act, 1966.
  • To clarify to West Bengal that services provided by Council/ Board of Primary/ Secondary/ Higher Secondary Education for the conduct of examination to its students are exempt.
  • To clarify that “printing of pictures” falls under service code “998386: Photographic and videographic processing services” of the scheme of classification of services and attract GST @18 percent and not under “998912: Printing and reproduction services of recorded media, on a fee or contract basis” which attracts GST @12 percent.
  • To clarify that leasing of pumps and reservoirs by the OMCs to petrol pump dealers is a mixed supply and the Licence Fee Recovery (LFR) charged for the same shall be leviable to GST @ 28 percent, the rate applicable to pumps. Leasing of land and buildings along with equipment shall fall under heading 9972 (real estate services) and attract GST rate of 18 percent.
  • To clarify that the incentives paid by RBI to banks under “Currency Distribution and Exchange Scheme” (CDES) are taxable.
  • To clarify under Section 11 (3) of the CGST Act, 2017, that scope of entry for multi-modal transport with GST rate of 12 percent inserted w.e.f. date 26.07.2018, covers only transport of goods from a place in India to another place in India, that is, only domestic multi-modal transport.
  • To clarify that the nature of business establishment making the supply of food, drinks, and other articles for human consumption will not determine whether the supply by such establishments is a supply of goods or services. It will rather depend on the constituents of each individual supply and whether the same satisfies the conditions/ ingredients of a ‘composite supply’ or ‘mixed supply’.
  • To clarify that GST is exempt on the supply of food and drinks by an educational institution when provided by the institution itself to its students, faculty, and staff and is leviable to GST of five percent when provided by any other person based on a contractual arrangement with such institutions.
  • To clarify that the banking company is liable to pay GST on the entire value of service charge or fee charged to customers whether or not received via business facilitator or the business correspondent.
  • To issue a clarification to Food Corporation of India (FCI) that the service provided by godown owner in case of lease with services, where the godown owner, besides leasing the warehouse, undertakes to carry out activities of storage and preservation of stored food grains, is the service of storage and warehousing of agricultural produce and the same is exempt.

The GST Council also decided to refer the following issues related to committees / GoM indicated against them:

Extending the composition scheme to small service providers. The rate of tax and threshold limit to be proposed - Law Committee and Fitment Committee.

Tax rate on lotteries – Committee of States.

Taxation of residential property in the real estate sector – Law Committee and Fitment Committee.

Threshold limit of exemption under GST regime – GoM on MSMEs.

The GST council will take a view on the above issues in its next meeting.

(Source: PIB)

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