The GST Council in its 37th meeting held on 20th September 2019 at Goa discussed and approved: (i) Some policy recommendations; (ii) certain amendments in the GST Law; (iii) reduction in GST rates for certain category of goods and services; and (iv) clarifications on GST rates for existing goods or services;

1. Changes related to Annual Return (for MSME’s) – FY 2017-18 and 2018-19

Sl. No. Proposal Category Gist of the recommendations made by the GST Council
1 Waiver of filing Annual Return by Composition Taxpayers Waiver in filing Annual Return by Composition taxpayers in Form GSTR 9A for the FY 2017-18 and 2018-19
2 Waiver of filing Annual Return by Regular Taxpayers (aggregate Turnover upto Rs 2 Crores) Filing of Annual Return (in Form GSTR 9) for the FY 2017-18 and 2018-19 made optional for regular taxpayers having aggregate turnover upto Rs 2 crores
3 No change in filing GST Audit Report – in Form GSTR 9C Taxpayers having aggregate turnover exceeding Rs 2 Crores shall be required to file Annual Return in Form GSTR 9 and GST Reconciliation Statement in Form GSTR 9C. There is no exemption provided to such tax payers.
4 Simplification of Annual Returns and Audit Report A Committee of Officers to be constituted to examine the simplification of forms for Annual Return and Audit Report (Reconciliation Statement).

2. Changes related to GST Refunds

Sl. No. Proposal Category Gist of the recommendations made by the GST Council
1 Refund against Order Refund claim procedure against favourable order in appeal or other forum to be notified.
2 Cases where NIL refund is already filed Eligibility to file refund application in Form GST RFD – 01A for a period and category where NIL refund application is filed shall be notified.
3 Single Authority for Refund Integrated Refund system for disbursement of refund by single authority to be introduced from 24th September 2019
4 Aadhar for refund In principle decision taken to link Aadhar for Registration and Refund claims
The effect of the above recommendations to be given through relevant Circulars/ Notifications.

3. Recommendations on GST Returns and Proposed new Return filing system

Sl. No. Proposal Category Gist of the recommendations made by the GST Council
1 Restriction on availing ITC where returns for Outward Supply are not filed (GSTR 1) GST Council, in order, to increase compliance of filing of GSTR 1 (return for outward supplies) has proposed a restriction in availing ITC by entities who do not file GSTR 1. This is to enhance the compliance of filing return of Outward Supplies in Form GSTR 1.
2 New Return system to be introduced from April 2020 Current return filing system of filing GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B to continue till March 2020. The new return filing system to be introduced from April 2020.

4. Other Recommendations of the Council

Sl. No. Proposal Category Gist of the recommendations made by the GST Council
1 Rescinding of Circular on Post Sales Discount The Circular No 105/24/2019-GST dated 28.06.2019 issued for Post Sales Discounts is being rescinded ab-initio
2 Clarification regarding supply of ITeS Services) Clarification regarding supply ITeS services (in supersession of Circular No. 107/26/2019-GST dated 18.07.2019) being made on own account or as intermediary
3 Issues related to fake invoicing and fraudulent refunds In principle decision on reasonable restrictions on passing of credit by risky taxpayers including risky new taxpayers has been discussed.

Note: The effect of the above recommendations to be given through relevant Circulars/ Notifications.

5. Changes in GST Rates on Goods and Services –

S. No Item Current Rate New Rate
1 Dried Tamarind 5% NIL
2 Plates and Cups made of Leaves/ flowers/ bark 5% NIL
3 Cut and Polished semi-precious Stones 3% 0.25%
4 Wet Grinders (stone as a grinder) 12% 5%
5 Outdoor Catering 18% 5% (no ITC)
6 Polypropylene/Polyethylene Woven and Non- Woven Bags and sacks 5%/12%/18% 12%
7 Parts of Slide Fasteners 18% 12%
8 Caffeinated Beverages 18% 28% + 12% (Cess)
9 Railway Wagons, Coaches and Rolling Stocks 5% 12% (no refund of accumulated ITC)
10 Marine Fuel 0.5% (FO) 18% 5%
11 Specified goods for Petroleum Operations under Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) Applicable Rate 5%
12 Almond Milk 18%
13 Parts and Accessories for medical device (under CH 9018, 9019, 9021 or 9022) 18%/ 12%/ NIL 12%
14 Parts like Solar evacuation tubes for Solar Water Heater, Solar System, generation systems 5%
15 Mechanical sprayers (CH 8424) 12% 5%
16 Hotels (Room tariff from Rs 1001 to 7500) 18% 12%
17 Hotels (Room tariff Rs 7501 or above) 28% 18%
18 Diamond Job Work 5% 1.5%
19 Other Job Work (Other than Bus Body building Jw) 18% 12%
20 Job Work – Bus Body building 18% 18%

6. Reduction in Cess on Motor Vehicles

S. No Item Current Rate of Cess New Rate of Cess
1 Petrol Motor Vehicles (capacity 10-13 passengers) Engine Cap – 1200 cc and Length – 4000 mm 15% 1%
2 Diesel Motor Vehicles (capacity 10-13 passengers) Engine Cap – 1500 cc and Length – 4000 mm 15% 3%

7. Exemption/ Reduction/ Clarification in GST Rate – Goods or Services

Sl. No Service Category Decision taken by the GST Council
1 Prospective Exemption – Warehousing Services of storage or warehousing of cereals, pulses, fruits, nuts and vegetables, spices, copra, sugarcane, jaggery, raw vegetable fibres such as cotton, flax, jute etc., indigo, unmanufactured tobacco, betel leaves, tendu leaves, rice, coffee and tea
2 Transportation Increase the validity of conditional exemption of GST on Export Freight by air or sea for one more year (i.e. till 30.09.2020)
3 Export Promotion Exemption on services provided by an intermediary to a supplier of goods or recipient of goods when both the supplier and recipient are located outside the taxable territory.
4 Royalty Paid to Authors Option to be given to the registered authors to pay GST on royalty charged from publishers under forward charge and observe regular GST compliance.

8. Services brought under RCM

Sl. No Service Category Decision taken by the GST Council
1 Securities Lending Services (Note 1) RCM on payment of GST payment on securities lending service under RCM at the merit rate of 18%. Also clarified that GST on securities lending service for period prior to RCM period shall be paid on forward charge basis. IGST shall be payable on supply of these services and in cases where CGST/SGST/ UTGST have been paid, such taxpayers will not be required to pay tax again
2 RCM on Renting of Vehicles RCM to Suppliers paying GST @ 5% on renting of vehicles, from registered person other than body corporate (LLP, proprietorship) when services provided to body corporate entities.

Note – 1. Securities lending is the act of loaning a stock, derivative or other security to an investor or firm. Securities lending requires the borrower to put up collateral, whether cash, security or a letter of credit. When a security is loaned, the title and the ownership are also transferred to the borrower

Copy of Press Release Notes issued by the Ministry of Finance can be viewed by clicking at the links provided below:

Also Read Press Releases by Ministry of Finance on decisions taken in 37th GST Council Meeting

Changes in GST Rate on Goods | 37th GST Council Meeting

Changes in GST Rate on Services | 37th GST Council Meeting

Changes in GST Law and Return Filing including Annual Returns

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