Voice of Maharashtra

Refuse to bring petrol-diesel under GST!

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday clarified that petrol-diesel will not be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at least for now. The Finance Minister also said that this was unanimously rejected in the 45th meeting of the GST Council.

The Kerala High Court had sought the opinion of the GST Council on the issue of bringing petroleum products under GST. For that reason, the issue was only on the agenda of the meeting. Explaining the matter, Sitharaman said the matter was taken up for consideration due to a court order and members clearly opposed bringing petrol-diesel under the ambit of GST.
The actual meeting of the GST Council took place in Lucknow almost 18 months later. It was expected that the Supreme Court, comprising the finance ministers of the states, would take a decision that would bring relief to the common man and bring petrol-diesel under GST and reduce its rates significantly. But at present it is not possible to bring petroleum products under GST, all the members of the council agreed. The decision will also be communicated to the Kerala High Court, Sitharaman said.
In the meantime, GST has been given a complete exemption from the costly life-saving drugs Zologensma and Viltetso, which are imported in addition to Corona. Sitharaman said that the concession on Corona drugs is being extended till December 31, 2021. The concession was to expire on September 30. It was earlier decided to exempt imported respirators and other materials for the treatment of corona patients, as well as a capsule of amphotericin-B on mucormycosis. This tax exemption will be applicable till December 31.
The GST Council has also started levying tax on the services of popular food distribution platforms like Swiggy and Zomato. As a result, consumers will now have to pay more for the food they get. Swiggy-Zomato will now have to pay a higher tax rate of 5 per cent instead of the restaurants from which these services used to procure and distribute food.
Meanwhile, the rise in international retail prices of petrol and diesel is now showing signs of rising in the country. Petrol and diesel prices have not gone up in the last 12 days. Now that prices have risen internationally, it is likely to rise again. At present, petrol and diesel prices are ? 4 to ? 6 per pimp higher than in August.
Other decisions of the GST Council
Training programs that are funded by the government at 75 per cent or more are exempt from GST.
The national charges levied on freight vehicles in the form of licenses are exempt from GST.
GST on retro-fitment kits in vehicles for persons with disabilities reduced by 5%.
GST on biodiesel (supplied to oil marketing companies for blending with diesel) ranges from 12 per cent to 8 per cent.
GST rate on rice used in Integrated Child Development Services Schemes from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
Some decisions have also been taken to import aircraft and other items on lease basis, so as to get relief from double taxation.
GST on some spare parts required by the railways has been increased from 12 per cent to 18 per cent.