30th GST Council Meeting hikes GST Tax Rate for Kerala Flood Relief Funds
The apex authority to oversee and address issues concerned with the GST, i.e. the GST council has always devised and properly implemented several egalitarian reforms in their previous meetings.
The noteworthy reforms introduced in the earlier GST meetings that were intended to make GST structure more user-friendly include-
- Quarterly GST return filing model and
- The series of exemptions on various services offered by the entities having GST registration under the composition scheme;
Besides many others.
As ever, the GST Council has once again come out with its populist agenda in its 30th meeting that was chaired by our esteemed finance minister Arun Jaitley via video-conferencing on 28th September 2018. What is so special about the 30th GST Council meeting is its philanthropic measures for the flood victims of Kerala.
The council has imposed a special “rehabilitation cess” on some specific items in order to source the funds intended to extend relief to the flood-ravaged Kerala citizens.
#1. Why is the rehabilitation cess introduced by the GST Council?
As everyone knows that the State of Kerala is badly hit due to the turbulent floods, and the central government is earnestly extending numerous relief measures for the flood victims.
- The flood relief programme was the focal point of discussion during this GST Council meeting.
- In a bid to raise additional funds for undertaking the disaster relief programme, the GST Council has now imposed a separate cess on selective commodities under GST.
- This is solely meant to raise funds for rehabilitation of the flood victims.
The government of Kerala has welcomed the suggestion for additional cess on GST of the Finance Minister.
#2. What changes have been made in the GST rates of various goods?
As such, no modifications have been made as regards the GST rates of various commodities. Moreover, the GST council has already brought into effect GST rate cuts on several commodities in the 28th GST council meeting.
#3. What decision has been taken regarding GST on petrol & diesel?
The matter of inclusion of petrol & diesel under the GST ambit is still on hold and no decision has been taken in this regard.
#4. How will the disaster relief goods be treated under GST?
The government has keen to help the disaster victims of Kerala. Therefore, the goods & services rendered with the sole aim of disaster relief will be exempted from GST.
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