Not right time to bring petrol under GST: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman
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Nirmala Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that the GST council discussed bringing petrol and diesel under GST regime, but the council has decided against putting the fuels under GST.

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that the GST council discussed bringing petrol and diesel under GST regime, but the council has decided against putting the fuels under GST. All the States unanimously rejected the proposal, according to sources. Chairing the 45th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting in Lucknow on Friday, Nirmala Sitharaman said: "I make it absolutely clear that this came on agenda purely because of the Kerala High Court order where it suggested the matter to be placed before the GST council." This was the first in-person GST council meeting since Covid-19 outbreak.

Apart from this, the minister announced that concessional GST rates on Covid-19 related medicines such as Amphotericin B, Tocilizumab will continue till December 31. GST rate on Amphotericin B, Tocilizumab was cut to 'Nil' in June 2021. GST has also been exempted on muscular atrophy drugs like Zolgensma and Viltepso, which cost crores of rupees, the minister said.

Also, the council cut GST rate from 12 per cent to 5 per cent on cancer-related rugs and on fortified rice kernels to 5 per cent from 18 per cent. However, the concessional regime for certain medical equipment will end on September 30.

The GST council has also approved the proposal of treating food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy as restaurants and levy a tax of 5 per cent. At present these apps are registered as TCS, or Tax Collected at Source, in GST records.

Speaking to reporters after the GST meeting, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj clarified that no new taxes were being announced. "Suppose you order food from the aggregator... now the restaurant is paying taxes. But we found some restaurants were not paying. We are now saying that if you order, the aggregator will collect from the consumer and pay to the authorities instead of the restaurant doing this..." he said.

The interim report of a state-ministerial panel on capacity-based taxation on pan masala and composition scheme for brick kilns and stone crushers would come up for discussion.

Import of leased aircraft have also been exempted from payment of I-GST, the Finance Minister said. GST rate on bio-diesel for blending in diesel was reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, while the national permit fee for goods carriage has been exempt from GST.

The panel decided to levy 18 per cent GST on all sorts of pens. Specified renewable sector devices will be charged 12 per cent tax. The GST council also recommended new footwear and textile rates from January 1.

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