October 2021
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GST Council relief for Covid drugs, plan to include petrol, diesel in GST net off the table
New Delhi, The GST Council on Friday decided to continue concessional rate on certain drugs for treating Covid till year-end and lower duty on key anti-Cancer drug Keytruda to 5 per cent while deferring plans to include diesel and petrol in the GST ambit.

The all-powerful Council also decided to reduce GST rate to 5 per cent on Covid related drugs such as Itolizumab, Favipiravir and 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose.

While GST rates on some items were reduced, several items saw an increase in tax while a few being added to the tax net.

Food-delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy would now be liable to pay GST as their platforms would be treated as restaurants.

Briefing the media after the day-long GST Council meeting held here, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the issue of petroleum products being in GST ambit was brought for consideration but after due deliberation it was decided that it is not appropriate to do so at this stage.

Inclusion of diesel and petrol in GST would allow industry to claim input tax credit (ITC) thus lowering their cost. Consumers are also expected to gain from it provided rates are fixed accordingly and there is revenue buoyancy in the economy.

Given that states have seen their revenue getting impacted by Covid while healthcare costs have gone up, they have opposed any move to bring the auto fuels in GST regime.

The Council decided to set up two group of ministers (GoMs) to look into inverted duty structure issues for major sector, and discuss ways and means of using technology to further improve compliance.

The GoM on improving compliance will discuss ways and means of using technology including monitoring through improved e-way bill systems, e-invoices, FASTag data and strengthening the institutional mechanism for sharing of intelligence.

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