GST Council recommends to roll-out the biometric-based Aadhaar authentication to curb fake invoicing


New Delhi: The 53rd GST Council meeting held today under the Chairpersonship of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took several important decisions including pan India rollout of biometric authentication to curb fake invoicing. This is the first GST council met after the formation of Modi 3.0. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa and Meghalaya; Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha; besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs (with legislature) and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance & States/ UTs.
A. Changes in GST Tax Rates:
I. Recommendations relating to GST rates on Goods
A. Changes in GST rates of goods

  1. A uniform rate of 5% IGST will apply to imports of ‘Parts, components, testing equipment, tools and tool-kits of aircrafts, irrespective of their HS classification to provide a fillip to MRO activities subject to specified conditions.
  2. All milk cans (of steel, iron and aluminium) irrespective of their use will attract 12% GST.
  3. GST rate on ‘carton, boxes and cases of both corrugated and non-corrugated paper or paper-board’ (HS 4819 10; 4819 20) to be reduced from 18% to 12%.
  4. All solar cookers whether single or dual energy source, will attract 12% GST.
  5. To amend existing entry covering Poultry keeping Machinery attracting 12% GST to specifically incorporate “parts of Poultry keeping Machinery” and to regularise past practice on ‘as is where is’ basis in view of genuine interpretational issues.
  6. To clarify that all types of sprinklers including fire water sprinklers will attract 12% GST and to regularise the past practice on ‘as is where is’ basis in view of genuine interpretational issues.
  7. To extend IGST exemption on imports of specified items for defence forces for a further period of five years till 30th June, 2029.
  8. To extend IGST exemption on imports of research equipment/buoys imported under the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) programme subject to specified conditions.
  9. To exempt Compensation Cess on the imports in SEZ by SEZ Unit/developers for authorised operations w.e.f. 01.07.2017.
    Other Miscellaneous Changes
  10. To exempt Compensation cess on supply of aerated beverages and energy drinks to authorised customers by Unit Run Canteens under Ministry of Defence.
  11. To provide Adhoc IGST exemption on imports of technical documentation for AK-203 rifle kits imported for Indian Defence forces.
    II. Recommendations relating to GST rates on services
  12. To exempt the services provided by Indian Railways to general public, namely, sale of platform tickets, facility of retiring rooms/waiting rooms, cloak room services and battery-operated car services and to also exempt the Intra-Railway transactions. The issue for the past period will be regularized from 20.10.2023 to the date of issue of exemption notification in this regard.
  13. To exempt GST on the services provided by Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to Indian Railway by way of allowing Indian Railway to use infrastructure built & owned by SPV during the concession period and maintenance services supplied by Indian Railways to SPV. The issue for the past will be regularized on ‘as is where is’ basis for the period from 01.07.2017 till the date of issue of exemption notification in this regard.
  14. To create a separate entry in notification No. 12/2017- CTR 28.06.2017 under heading 9963 to exempt accommodation services having value of supply of accommodation up to Rs. 20,000/- per month per person subject to the condition that the accommodation service is supplied for a minimum continuous period of 90 days. To extend similar benefit for past cases.

B. Measures for facilitation of trade:

  1. Insertion of Section 128A in CGST Act, to provide for conditional waiver of interest or penalty or both, relating to demands raised under Section 73, for FY 2017-18 to FY 2019-20 : Considering the difficulties faced by the taxpayers, during the initial years of implementation of GST, the GST Council recommended, waiving interest and penalties for demand notices issued under Section 73 of the CGST Act for the fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, in cases where the taxpayer pays the full amount of tax demanded in the notice upto 31.03.2025. The waiver does not cover demand of erroneous refunds. To implement this, the GST Council has recommended insertion of Section 128A in CGST Act, 2017.
  2. Reduction of Government Litigation by Fixing monetary limits for filing appeals under GST: The Council recommended to prescribe monetary limits, subject to certain exclusions, for filing of appeals in GST by the department before GST Appellate Tribunal, High Court, and Supreme Court, to reduce government litigation. The following monetary limits have been recommended by the Council:
    GSTAT: Rs. 20 lakhs
    High Court: Rs. 1 crore
    Supreme Court: Rs. 2 crores
  3. Amendment in Section 107 and Section 112 of CGST Act for reducing the amount of pre-deposit required to be paid for filing of appeals under GST: The GST Council recommended reducing the amount of pre-deposit for filing of appeals under GST to ease cash flow and working capital blockage for the taxpayers. The maximum amount for filing appeal with the appellate authority has been reduced from Rs. 25 crores CGST and Rs. 25 crores SGST to Rs. 20 crores CGST and Rs. 20 crores SGST. Further, the amount of pre-deposit for filing appeal with the Appellate Tribunal has been reduced from 20% with a maximum amount of Rs. 50 crores CGST and Rs. 50 crores SGST to 10 % with a maximum of Rs. 20 crores CGST and Rs. 20 crores SGST.
  4. Applicability of Goods and Services Tax on Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) Taxation of ENA under GST: The GST Council, in its 52nd meeting, had recommended to amend GST Law to explicitly exclude rectified spirit/Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) from the scope of GST when supplied for manufacturing alcoholic liquors for human consumption. The GST Council now recommended amendment in sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the CGST Act, 2017 for not levying GST on Extra Neutral Alcohol used for manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption.
  5. Reduction in rate of TCS to be collected by the ECOs for supplies being made through them: Electronic Commerce Operators (ECOs) are required to collect Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on net taxable supplies under Section 52(1) of the CGST Act. The GST Council has recommended to reduce the TCS rate from present 1% (0.5% CGST + 0.5% SGST/ UTGST, or 1% IGST) to 0.5 % (0.25% CGST + 0.25% SGST/UTGST, or 0.5% IGST), to ease the financial burden on the suppliers making supplies through such ECOs.
  6. Time for filing appeals in GST Appellate Tribunal: The GST Council recommended amending Section 112 of the CGST Act, 2017 to allow the three-month period for filing appeals before the Appellate Tribunal to start from a date to be notified by the Government in respect of appeal/ revision orders passed before the date of said notification. This will give sufficient time to the taxpayers to file appeal before the Appellate Tribunal in the pending cases.

Other measures pertaining to Law and Procedures

  1. Rolling out of bio-metric based Aadhaar authentication on All-India basis: The GST Council recommended to roll-out the biometric-based Aadhaar authentication of registration applicants on pan-India basis in a phased manner. This will strengthen the registration process in GST and will help in combating fraudulent input tax credit (ITC) claims made through fake invoices.
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