oppn parties GST Council Meet: Boost To Tourism and Big Relief To Small Businesses

News Snippets

  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
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GST Council Meet: Boost To Tourism and Big Relief To Small Businesses

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

The GST Council meet in Goa on Friday did not meet the expectations of the automobile industry. It did not announce the rate cut that the industry, along with biscuit manufacturers and some other sections of the FMCG industry was expecting. Instead, in an effort to boost tourism, the council rationalized rates in the hotel industry to make them at par with those prevailing across the globe. This was needed as India is emerging as a prominent tourist destination (as also for medical tourism). The council cut the rates of rooms with tariff above Rs 7501 from 28% to 18% and those with tariff between Rs 2501 to Rs 7500 to 12% from 18%. Rooms below Rs 1000 remain GST-free while those between Rs 1001 and Rs 2500 will continue to attract 12% as before. Hence, the mid-segment has been broadened to include rooms from Rs 1001 to Rs 7500 and will now attract 12% GST. The tax rate on outdoor catering has also been cut to 5%. But travelers have to be prepared to shell out more for caffeinated drinks, including energy drinks, as they will now attract 28% GST instead of 18% before and an additional compensation cess of 12%. The government is trying to discourage the consumption of such drinks as they are considered sin goods.

The other rationalization of taxes was in job work where GST on job work in diamond was reduced from 5% to 1.5% and in engineering (other than bus body building) from 18% to 12%. In order to discourage the use of single-use plastic and support alternatives, the council brought plates and cups made of leaves, flowers and barks to zero percent from the 5% currently imposed on them. But the railway wagon, coaches and rolling stock industry was in for a surprise as the GST rate on them was upwardly revised from 5% to 12% without the accumulation of ITC. But the boldest move by the council was for small traders. In a major relief, business entities with a turnover of up to Rs 2 crore were exempted from filing annual returns. This is expected to benefit a large number of businesses.