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

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
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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.