53rd GST Council Meeting: Key Highlights From The GST Council Meeting

One of the notable announcements was the extension of the deadline for filing GSTR-4 until June 30 for the fiscal year 2024-25 onwards. Additionally, the Council recommended waiving interest and penalties on demand notices issued under Section 73 of the GST Act.

The 53rd GST Council Meeting concluded today, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, bringing forth several crucial decisions aimed at simplifying tax compliance and promoting economic efficiency.

One of the notable announcements was the extension of the deadline for filing GSTR-4 until June 30 for the fiscal year 2024-25 onwards. Additionally, the Council recommended waiving interest and penalties on demand notices issued under Section 73 of the GST Act. Sitharaman emphasized that interest and penalties for demand notices from 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 would be waived if taxes are paid by March 31, 2025.

In a move to enhance compliance, the Council proposed the insertion of functionality in GSTR-1A, allowing taxpayers to rectify omissions in reporting for the current tax period. Moreover, to reduce government litigation, the Council set monetary limits for appeals: Rs 20 lakh for the GST Appellate Tribunal and Rs 1 crore for the High Court.

Addressing specific tax rates, the Council recommended a uniform GST rate of 12% on milk cans made of steel, aluminum, or iron, regardless of their use. Similarly, carton boxes and all types of sprinklers, including fire sprinklers, will also attract a 12% GST rate.

Sitharaman further announced exemptions for certain railway services, including platform tickets, battery-operated vehicle services, and intra-railway supplies, which are now exempt from GST.

Regarding hostel accommodation, the Council exempted non-educational hostels for students, provided the rent does not exceed Rs 20,000 per person per month and the minimum stay is for at least three months.

In a forward-looking statement, Sitharaman reiterated the government’s intention to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST, emphasizing the need for consensus among states to decide on the applicable GST rates. A Group of Ministers (GoM) will present a proposal on rate rationalization in the upcoming August GST Council meeting.

The meeting, attended by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chief Ministers of Goa and Meghalaya, Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha, along with Finance Ministers from states and Union Territories with legislative assemblies, concluded after deliberating on various crucial agenda items.