31st GST Council Meeting Updates – A Quick Look

|Updated on: August 24, 2021

In 31st GST Council Meeting, which was held on 22nd December,2020, some crucial decisions being taken.Let's see, what was discussed at the 31st GST Council Meeting-

Reductions in GST Rate of Goods

28% to 18%

  • Pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gear boxes etc.
  • Monitors and TVs of up to screen size of 32 inches
  • Re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of rubber
  • Power banks of lithium ion batteries
  • Digital cameras and video camera recorders
  • Video game consoles and other games and sports requisites

28% to 5%

  • Parts and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons

18% to 12%

  • Cork roughly squared or debagged
  • Articles of natural cork
  • Agglomerated cork

18% to 5%

  • Marble rubble

12% to 5%

  • Natural cork
  • Walking sticks
  • Fly ash blocks

12% to Nil

  • Music Books

5% to Nil

  • Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen, branded and put in a unit container
  • Vegetables, provisionally preserved (for example by sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions), but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption

Reductions in GST Rate of Services

  • Cinema tickets above INR 100 - 28% to 18%
  • Cinema tickets up to INR 100 – 18% to 12%
  • Third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles - 18% to 12%
  • Services provided by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) - Exempt from GST
  • Services provided by rehabilitation professionals (recognised under Rehabilitation Council
    of India Act, 1992) at medical establishments, educational institutions, rehabilitation centres established by Central Government / State Government or Union Territories or entities registered under section 12AA of the Income Tax Act - Exempt from GST
  • Services provided by GTA to Government departments / local authorities which have
    taken registration only for the purpose of deducting tax - Exempt from GST
  • Services provided by Central or State Government or Union Territory Government to their undertakings or PSUs by way of guaranteeing loans taken by them from financial institutions and banks - Exempt from GST
  • Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements, shall now attract the same GST rate as applicable to similar flights in economy class - 5% with ITC of input services

Formation of GoM to study GST Revenues

The GST Council at the 31st GST Council meeting today, approved the proposal to form a 7-member Group of Ministers (GoM) to study the revenue trend, including analysing the reasons for structural patterns affecting the revenue collection in some of the States. The study would include the underlying reasons for deviation from the revenue collection targets, as against the original assumptions discussed during the design of the GST system, its implementation and related structural issues.

The Group of Ministers will be assisted by the committee of experts from the Central Government, State Governments and the NIPFP (National Institute of Public Finance and Planning), who would study and share the findings with the GoM. The GoM in turn would give its recommendation to the GST Council. The members of both the GoM and the committee of experts will be announced later.

Staggered Roll-out of the New & Simplified GST Returns

The new and simplified GST return filing system shall be introduced on a trial basis from 1st April 2019 and on a mandatory basis from 1st July 2019.

Dates extension announcements

For Annual Returns

The due date for furnishing the annual returns i.e. Form GSTR 9, Form GSTR 9A and the reconciliation statement i.e. Form GSTR 9C for the Financial Year 2017-18 shall be further extended till 30th June 2019. Thus, businesses will now get 3 more months to file their annual returns.

For E-Commerce Operators

The due date for furnishing Form GSTR 8 by e-commerce operators for the months of October, November and December 2018 shall be extended till 31st January 2019.

For GST ITC-04

The due date for submitting Form GST ITC-04 for the period July 2017 to December 2018 shall be extended till 31st March 2019.

For availing ITC on supplies

The last date to claim ITC in relation to invoices issued by the supplier during FY 2017-18 by the recipient has been extended. Earlier the time limit was till the due date for furnishing of Form GSTR 3B for the month of September 2018, but now, it is till the due date for filing Form GSTR 3B for the month of March 2019.

Other important announcements at 31st GST Council Meeting

  • Single e-cash ledger on GST Portal - Earlier, the e-cash ledger available to businesses was bifurcated into CGST/SGST/IGST/CESS and sub-heads such as Tax, Interest, Late fee, Penalty etc. and further, cross-utilization was not allowed. Now, a provision has been made for a single cash ledger for each tax head, the modalities for implementation would be finalised in consultation with GSTN and accounting authorities
  • Late Fees waived off - Late fees shall be completely waived for all taxpayers for Form GSTR 1, Form GSTR 3B and Form GSTR 4 for the months and quarters between the period July 2017 to September 2018, in case they are furnished after 22nd December 2018, but on or before 31st March 2019
  • E-way Bill Blocking - Taxpayers who have not filed the returns for two consecutive tax periods shall be restricted from generating e-way bills. This provision shall be made effective once the required functionality is made available.
  • Centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) – This forum will be created to deal with cases of conflicting decisions by two or more State Appellate Advance Ruling Authorities on the same issue
  • Interest only on Net Tax Liability - Interest will now be charged only on the net tax liability of the taxpayer, after taking into account the admissible input tax credit. In other words, interest will be levied only on the amount payable through the electronic cash ledger.

Overall, all these recommendations are bound to improve life for the consumer as well as businesses, and as you read these, several forums are expressing their positive views on the decisions being taken.


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