Sitharaman-Led GST Council Extends NAA Tenure, Annual Filing Date

During the meeting, the Finance Minister lauded the the work of the GST Council during PM Modi’s first term.

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Business
2 min read

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 35th GST Council meeting on Friday, 21 June, for the first time after assuming office in May.

The meeting took place in Delhi and was attended by the state finance ministers and senior officers of the ministry.

Here are the key decisions announced by the GST Council.

Anti-Profiteering Authority’s Tenure Extended

Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey announced that the council decided to extend the tenure of National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) by two years till 30 November 2021, reported PTI.

In 2017, after the GST was rolled out, the government had approved setting up of the NAA for two years to deal with complaints by consumers against companies for not passing on GST rate cut benefits.

It also approved imposition of a penalty of up to 10 percent on entities not passing on benefits of GST rate cuts to consumers, as against the current norm of levying a maximum fine of Rs 25,000.

Annual Filing Date Extended

The revenue secretary also announced that the date for filing annual returns under GST was extended by two months to 30 August.

The Council also decided to introduce a new one-form GST return filing system, which will be applicable from 1 January, 2020.

Briefing the media, the revenue secretary also said for the ease of registration on the GST portal, businesses can now use Aadhaar.

The date for barring non-filers of GST returns for two consecutive months from generating e-way bills for transporting goods has been extended by two months till 21 August 2019.

Decision on Electric Vehicles Deferred

While there were expectations that the tax on Electric Vehicles (EV) would be reduced to 5 percent from the existing 12 percent, in order to provide a fillip to EV-compatible infrastructure, the Council did not provide any relief as anticipated. The matter has been forwarded to the fitment committee for further consideration.

The Council, which is headed by the Union Finance Minister and comprises representatives of all states and Union Territories, also approved an electronic invoicing system and e-ticketing in multiplexes, reported PTI.

Pandey said the Centre has shared details relating to the generation of fake invoices with the states, and the Council has given in-principle approval to launch a pilot project on e-invoices from 1 January.

The council, however, could not reach a consensus on whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system be continued.

‘GST Council Has More Work to Do’

During the meeting, the finance minister had lauded the the work of the GST Council during PM Narendra Modi's first term.

She also cautioned that the Council has "many more work to do including simplification of GST Rules, rationalisation of GST rates and bringing more items in the ambit of GST."

(With inputs from PTI.)

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