34th GST Council Meeting Updates – Know the Latest Recommendations


March 20, 2019



Latest 34th GST Council Meeting

34th GST council meeting held on 19th March 2019. Decisions taken are as:

1. GST Council has approved lower GST rates for the real estate sector and will be applicable from 1st April 2019.

2. There will be two options for builders to choose from:

a. Choose the old GST rate of 12% (8% for affordable housing) with input tax credit (ITC) or

b. Choose a new GST rate of 5% (1% for affordable housing) without input tax credit (ITC).

3. If someone chooses a new GST rate 5% then they have to reverse accumulated ITC. (For under construction properties, not completed till 31st March 2019)

4. For the new tax rates, 80% procurement of materials should be from the registered dealers.

33rd GST Council Meeting

33rd GST council meeting held on 24th Feb 2019. Highlights are given below:

1. GST Rate for affordable housing slashed to 1% without Input tax credit (ITC) from 8% GST rate.

2. Affordable housing defined as:

a. Flats with the value up to Rs.45 lakhs with the carpet area of up to 60 sq.m. for metro cities.

b. Flats with the value up to Rs.45 lakhs with the carpet area of up to 90 sq.m. for non-metro cities.

3. GST rate for non-affordable housing slashed to 5% without ITC from 12% GST rate.

4. Notifications will be out after getting passed by GST Council and will be applicable from 1st April 2019.

5. There was no conclusion on lottery rate slash.

32nd GST Council Meeting

32nd council meeting held on 10th January 2019. Here are the highlights of the meeting:

  1. GST registration exemption limit has been increased from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 40 lakhs.
  2. For the composition scheme, the annual turnover limit has been increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore. It will be applied from 1st April 2019 effectively. Tax need to be paid Quarterly & GST returns to be filed annually by the composition taxpayers.
  3. Service providers with a turnover of up to Rs 50 lakhs per annum, can join a new composition scheme where 6% GST rate is fixed.
  4. GST council has allowed Kerala to impose a cess at 1 per cent on intrastate sales for up to 2 years.

31st GST Council Meeting

31st GST Council meeting held on 22nd December 2018, Saturday at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

Download PDF: Reduction in GST rates/exemptions on services by GST Council

30th GST council meeting

There were lot fewer decisions taken from the previous council meetings. The meeting was chaired by the union finance minister Arun Jaitley via video conferencing.

There were some decisions taken on Kerala state cess, extra GST collections in northeastern states and more including:

  • The finance minister announced a GoM panel to discuss and analyse the Cess provisions amendment in the GST act for the particular Kerala state
  • Extra GST collection reported in northeastern states, the council seeks to research the profitability to apply later
  • Still, no decision was taken on the inclusion of petrol and diesel
  • Also, no GST rate cut introduced on any product or service

This is the 30th GST Council Meeting which will be held on 30th September in Goa.

Pending Discussions for 30th GST Council Meeting

  • Single GST registration across the country
  • GST return reconciliation with Income Tax Return
  • Annual GSTR-9 return form under GST will have to be sorted out
  • Reduce the number of GST slab rate
  • Reduce GST Rate on Cement, AC & TV
  • Discussion of GST on Natural Gas
  • The Inclusion of Fuels Under GST
  • Discount on 20-Year-Old Vehicles Under Vehicle Modernization Scheme
  • One Nation One Road Tax Under Discussion

Read More: New TCS Norms Mandate State Wise GST Registration for E-Commerce Companies

29th GST Council Meeting Updates:

The 29th GST Council meeting was held on Saturday, 4 August 2018. Some very important discussions took place and many decisions were made during this meeting that will affect the common consumers and businesses of the country. Therefore, we have summarised the major updates here from the latest GST meeting.

Major discussions in the meeting were focused around the topic of making GST levy easier and less complex for the MSME sector. One or two decisions were also made in the favour of the consumers. Let’s find out more.

Major 29th GST Council Meeting Decisions:

Cashback for digital transactions

The Council has also decided to start a trial program providing cashback for B2C digital transactions, with the aim to promote GST compliance and encourage digital transactions. Under the program, consumers who perform digital payments via RuPay Debit card or UPI will get up to 20% cashback of the GST paid on the particular purchase. The cashback is limited to Rs 100 for a single transaction.

The software for the same will be developed and released soon. The states can choose to implement the feature on a pilot basis.

A sub-committee was formed to look into issues of MSME

The GST Council on Saturday decided to form a sub-committee chaired by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla to address the various issues and challenges being faced by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the country. The committee will research more on the issues and present its report to the Council on a later date.

Read More: Infosys Design New GST Return Forms For Traders: Roll Out in 6 Months

Pending Matters to be Discussed

The last GST Council meeting failed to provide any decision on the other significant matters of the rate cut/rationalization and the simplification of the return filing process. The following issues are still needed to be discussed at the upcoming GST meeting.

Simplification of GST Refund Procedure

The Council soon needs to make a decision about a simpler procedure for GST refund claim as the delay in refunds severely impact the cash flow for businesses.

Single GST Registration, irrespective of location

As of now, businesses are required to register separately in every state where there they have an office, however, there is a demand for a single GST registration for each business, irrespective of their geographical location.

GSTN Governance Rights

The government had earlier decided to transfer the GSTN ownership completely to the government entities from the existing private holding, however, the final decision and actual processing are still pending.

Annual GSTR 9 Returns

The decision about an annual GST return form which will include the summary of all the sales and purchases made by a particular business during a financial year is yet to be finalized.

Simplified GST Returns

The government has reportedly been working on a simpler GST return form, a draft of which was recently made public for expert review. It is though still unknown when and whether the new return will be implemented.

GST Rate Reduction

There is a rising demand for reducing the GST rate on items like air conditioners, TV, and cement, all of which are currently in the 28 percent tax slab. But the latest GST meeting missed any discussion on the topic.

Reduction in the Number of GST slabs

The Council has earlier hinted that it might reduce the number of GST slabs eventually, however, it is not known when that may happen. Presently, there are 4 GST slabs with 4 different tax rates. The demand is to reduce them to 2 or 3.

Input credit for employee benefits

The GST panel had, in its previous meeting, suggested that it might allow employers to claim input credit for the tax paid on insurance, food, transport and other benefits provided to the company employees.

There are many other issues, such as the inclusion of fuel under GST, AAR centralization, registration for e-commerce companies, GST on natural gas, one road tax, etc. that need to be discussed in the following GST Council Meetings.

28th GST Council Meeting Live Updates:

The 28th GST council meeting has approved some major GST rate cuts with New Delhi by Union Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Shri Piyush Goyal Ji. The major changes were a reduction of GST rates on certain items.

  • In the GST rate category, there are certain goods which are exempted from GST including Fortified milk, Sanitary pads, the Raw material used in brooms, Commemorative coins circulated by the RBI or government, Saal leaves, Deities made of stone, marbles or wood.
  • While in the category of 5 percent slab rates, these were the items which were added, including, Fertiliser grade phosphoric acid, Handloom Dari, imported urea, E-books.
  • Some of the items were taken into 18 percent slab rate from 28 percent, including, Lithium-ion batteries, Food grinders, mixers, Vaccum cleaners, Shavers, hair clippers, Storage water heaters, Watercooler, Ice cream freezer, Paint, Electric smoothing irons, Refrigerators, Perfumes, Hand dryers, Cosmetics, Scents, Varnishes.

Some of the other decisions were:

The 28th GST council meeting held on 21st July 2018 in New Delhi.

  • Mandatory register under GST is extended till 31 August with penalty waived off
  • Composition scheme applicable for those who provide 10 percent services from their annual turnover
  • Composition Scheme threshold limit increased (1 Crore to 1.5 Crore)
  • The GST registration threshold limit is increased up to 20 lacs (earlier it was 10 lacs) for northeastern states

27th GST council meeting held on 4th May 2018

Major recommendations are:

1. GSTR 3B and GSTR 1 will be continued.

2. Govt may consider 2% discount on GST to promote digital transactions.

3. Only one GST return to be filed per month except for composition scheme and nil transactions after six months say Govt.

4. The decision on the matter of Sugar Cess implementation soon.

5. GST council agreed to convert GSTN into 100% govt entity.

26th GST Council Meeting Updates

The 26th GST Council Meeting held on 10th March 2018, Major recommendations were about E way bill implementation and GSTR 3B deadline extension.

25th GST Council Meeting Updates

25th GST Council Meeting held on 18th January 2018 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Major recommendations are:

Download PDF: GST rate changes in 25th meeting

Download PDF: Policy changes by GST council

24th GST Council Meeting Live Updates

24th GST Council Meeting held on 16th December 2017, major decisions have been taken to implement the e-way bill system.

E-way bill will be applicable from February 1st, 2018.

23th GST Council Meeting Updates

23rd GST council meeting held on 10th November 2017 in Guwahati.

Here are the recommendations made by the GST council meeting:

Press Release on GST Rate Changes in PDF

Press Release on GST Return Due Dates Changes in PDF

Press Release on Changes Recommended in Composition Scheme in PDF

The council along with the chairperson finance minister Arun Jaitley will be discussing all the provisions along with the review of those items on which concerns were raised recently. It must be noted that the council has already finalized the GST tax rates on almost all goods and services in the range of 5, 12, 18 and 28%.

It is speculated that the council will be discussing the draft GST rules and related forms for an advance ruling, appeals and revision, and assessment and audit. Recently in its 16th meeting, the council had revised the tax rates of 66 items including agarbatti, packaged food, and insulin.

Talking about the hybrid cars, which were also presented for the review, the GST council has not considered the issues, as the presentation of the sector and details along with report were not syncing with the original scenario found by the tax officials. The sector has been upset with the tax rate finalized by the GST council, which is 28 percent along with 15 percent extra cess making it 43 percent tax, is being considered too high for this sector.

The e-way bill is also under the scanner, and once the rules related to this are finalized, the GST network is expected to float a Request for Proposal for roping in an IT partner. A version of the draft of RFP was in public domain for the feedback till June 7.

It must be noted that the GST Council in April had come out with the draft of e-way bill rules, that made it necessary for any movement of goods, within or outside the state, having the value of more than Rs 50,000 to be registered with the GST-Network (GSTN).

E-way Bill: Next up for GST Council

As per the proposed e-way bill, GSTN will generate e-way bills that will be valid for 1-15 days, depending on the distance to be traveled. According to the bill, for the one-day e-way bill will be valid for 100 km and for 15 days the same will be valid for more than 1,000 km transit. The tax officials can inspect the ‘e-way bill’ anytime during the transit to check tax evasion.

Anti-profiteering provisions on GST council table

Coming to the anti-profiteering provision, the authority which will be having ultimate power for levying any penalty will be more clear. According to the draft rule of anti-profiteering, a standing committee will be appointed for all the complaints about any company or a trader making undue profit by not passing on the benefit of lower tax incidence because of GST. After which, the committee will be deciding that whether an inquiry must be initiated against the convicted organization or not.

Earlier, the industry had shown concerns regarding the current draft of the anti-profiteering provisions, for which the Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had submitted a suggestion which is a positive and healthy move towards the consumer protection scheme. The suggestions mention about including a sunset clause of nine months to one year.

As per the Anti-Profiteering draft rules, in cases where profiteering will be found, the taxpayer will be directed to reduce price; return the amount equivalent to the amount not passed to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices along with 18 per cent interest; or recover the amount not returned within 30 days that shall be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.

Recommended: Latest GST News & Status


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