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53rd GST Council Meeting: All Key Highlights Detailed

53rd GST Council Meeting

Table of Contents

The 53rd GST Council meeting took place on June 22, 2024, in New Delhi. This was the first GST Council meeting after the 2024 Lok Sabha election results, with the 52nd GST Council meeting being held on October 7, 2023. This meeting reflected the Council’s commitment to addressing pressing issues within the GST framework.

The 53rd GST Council meeting was chaired by the newly re-elected Finance Minister of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman. Other attendees included Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa and Meghalaya; Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha; besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs (with legislature) and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance & States/ UTs. 

Highlights of 53rd GST Council Meeting

  • Changes in GSTR-1 Filing: Implementation of GSTR-1A for adding or amending particulars within the same tax period before filing GSTR-3B.

  • Reporting B2C Supplies: Threshold for reporting B2C interstate supplies in GSTR-1 reduced from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 1 lakh.

  • GSTR-4 Due Date Extension: New due date for filing GSTR-4 by composition taxpayers extended to 30th June from FY 2024-25 onwards.

  • TCS Rate Reduction: TCS rate for Electronic Commerce Operators (ECOs) reduced to 0.5% (0.25% under CGST and 0.25% under SGST/UTGST).

  • Mandatory GSTR-7 Filing: Compulsory to file GSTR-7 even if no TDS is deducted, with no late fee for nil filings.

  • GSTR-9/9A Filing Exemption: Annual return in GSTR-9/9A exempted for taxpayers with an annual turnover up to Rs. 2 crore for FY 2023-24.

  • ITC Time Limit Extension: Extended time limit to avail ITC for invoices or debit notes up to 30th November 2021, applicable retrospectively from 1st July 2017.

  • Interest on Delayed Filing: No interest charged on the amount available in the electronic cash ledger on the due date of filing GSTR-3B if debited while filing the return.

  • Waiver of Interest and Penalties: Waived interest and penalties for demand notices issued under Section 73 of CGST for non-fraud cases if paid by 31st March 2025.

  • Changes in Sections 73 and 74:

    • Unified time limit for issuing demand notices and orders for both fraud and non-fraud cases.
    • Increased time limit for paying tax demanded with reduced penalty from 30 to 60 days.
  • Monetary Limits for GST Appeals: Recommended monetary limits: Rs. 20 lakh for GST Appellate Tribunal, Rs. 1 crore for High Court, and Rs. 2 crore for Supreme Court.

  • Pre-Deposit Amounts for Appeals:

    • Maximum pre-deposit for filing appeals reduced to Rs. 20 crore each under CGST and SGST for appellate authorities.
    • Pre-deposit for appeal before GST Appellate Tribunal reduced to 10% with a maximum of Rs. 20 crore each under CGST and SGST.
  • Sunset Clause for Anti-Profiteering Cases: Added sunset clause for anti-profiteering cases, shifting hearing panel to the principal bench of GSTAT, effective from 1st April 2025.

  • Appeal Filing Time Limit: Modified Section 112 to provide a 3-month time limit for filing appeals before the GST Appellate Tribunal, effective from a notified date (expected by 5th August 2024).

  • New Section 11A: Allows regularisation of non-levy or short levy of GST due to common trade practices.

  • IGST Refund for Upward Price Revisions: Mechanism introduced for claiming IGST refunds due to upward price revisions after exports.

  • No IGST Refund on Export Duty: No IGST refund where export duty is payable, applicable for exports and SEZ supplies.

  • Biometric-Based Aadhaar Authentication: Rollout of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for GST registration on an all-India basis in phases.

  • Adjustment Mechanism for DRC-03: Circular to prescribe mechanism for adjusting demand amount paid through DRC-03 against pre-deposit for filing GST appeals.

  • Amendment to Section 122(1B): Clarified that penal provision under Section 122(1B) applies only to e-commerce operators required to collect TCS under Section 52, effective retrospectively from 1st October 2023.

Key Recommendations From The 53rd GST Council Meeting

The GST Council made several important recommendations related to changes in GST tax rates, trade facilitation, and compliance streamlining. 

53rd GST Council Meeting June 2024

Changes In GST Tax Rates

GST Rates on Goods

The Council recommended the following changes in GST rates for goods:

Item

Previous GST Rate

Revised GST Rate

Remarks

Aircraft parts and components

Variable

5%

Uniform rate for parts, components, testing equipment, tools, tool-kits

Milk cans (steel, iron, aluminium)

Variable

12%

This applies to all types

Cartons, boxes, and cases (paper board)

18%

12%

HS codes 4819 10 and 4819 20

Solar cookers

Variable

12%

Includes single or dual energy sources

Poultry-keeping machinery parts

12%

12%

Clarification and regularization

Sprinklers, including fire water

12%

12%

Clarification and regularization

Defence forces equipment

Variable

Exempt

IGST exemption extended for 5 years till June 30, 2029

RAMA research equipment

Variable

Exempt

Subject to specified conditions

Compensation Cess for SEZ imports

Variable

Exempt

Effective from July 1, 2017

Aerated beverages (Defence supply)

Variable

Exempt

Supply by Unit Run Canteens under the Ministry of Defence

Technical documentation for AK-203 kits

Variable

Adhoc IGST

For Indian Defence forces

 

GST Rates On Services

The Council recommended the following exemptions for services:

Service Description

Previous GST Rate

Revised GST Rate

Remarks

Indian Railways services to the public

Variable

Exempt

Includes platform tickets, retiring rooms, waiting rooms, cloakroom services, battery-operated car services

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) services to Indian Railways

Variable

Exempt

Infrastructure use and maintenance services supplied by Indian Railways

Accommodation services (up to ₹20,000 per month)

Variable

Exempt

A minimum continuous period of 90 days required

Co-insurance premium apportionment

Variable

No Supply

Regularization of past practices

Ceding/re-insurance commission transactions

Variable

No Supply

Regularization of past practices

Reinsurance services for specific insurance schemes

Variable

No Supply

Regularization for services covered under notification No. 12/2017-CT

Retrocession (re-insurance of re-insurance)

Variable

Exempt

Clarification provided

RERA statutory collections

Variable

Exempt

Clarification provided

Incentive sharing for RuPay/BHIM-UPI transactions

Variable

Not Taxable

Clarification provided

Measures For Facilitation Of Trade

The GST Council recommended several measures to facilitate trade and ease compliance burdens:

  1. Conditional Waiver of Interest and Penalties:
    • For demands under Section 73 for FY 2017-18 to 2019-20, if the full tax is paid by March 31, 2025.
  2. Monetary Limits for Appeals:
    • Setting limits to reduce litigation:
      • GST Appellate Tribunal: ₹20 lakhs
      • High Court: ₹1 crore
      • Supreme Court: ₹2 crores
  3. Reduction in Pre-Deposit for Appeals:
    • Lowering the pre-deposit amounts required for filing appeals to ease cash flow.
  4. GST on Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA):
    • Excluding rectified spirit/ENA from GST when used for alcoholic liquor production.
  5. Reduction in TCS Rate for ECOs:
    • Reducing TCS rate from 1% to 0.5% to ease the financial burden on suppliers.
  6. Extended Filing Time for Appeals:
    • Amending Section 112 to start the three-month appeal period from a government-notified date.
  7. Relaxation of Section 16(4) Conditions:
    • Extending input tax credit time limits and providing conditional relaxations for returns post revocation.

Compliance and Clarifications

Measure Description

Details

Change in due date for composition taxpayers

Extending due date for filing FORM GSTR-4 from April 30 to June 30, effective from FY 2024-25

Interest Calculation Adjustment

Amending Rule 88B to exclude amounts in Electronic Cash Ledger on the due date from interest calculation for delayed returns

Section 11A Insertion for Duty Regularization

Empowering the government to regularize non-levy or short levy of GST due to common trade practices

Refund Mechanism for Additional IGST

Prescribing a mechanism for claiming refunds on additional IGST paid due to price revisions post-export

Valuation of Import Services by Related Persons

Clarifying valuation rules for services provided by foreign affiliates where full input tax credit is available

Other Important Recommendations

  1. Biometric-Based Aadhaar Authentication:
    • Rolling out biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for registration applicants nationwide.
  2. Unified Time Limit for Demand Notices:
    • Providing a common time limit for issuing demand notices and orders irrespective of fraud involvement.
  3. Sunset Clause for Anti-Profiteering:
    • Implementing a sunset clause from April 1, 2025, for anti-profiteering applications.
  4. Export Duty and IGST Refund Restriction:
    • Amending laws to restrict refunds for goods subject to export duty.
  5. Threshold for B2C Inter-State Supplies:
    • Reducing the reporting threshold from ₹2.5 lakh to ₹1 lakh.
  6. Nil Return Filing for TDS under FORM GSTR-7:
    • Mandating monthly filing of FORM GSTR-7 with no late fee for Nil returns.

Summary Of The Recommendations From The 53rd GST Council Meeting

The GST Council has recommended significant changes to ease compliance and reduce litigation. Key decisions include waiving interest and penalties for demand notices under Section 73 for FY 2017-18 to 2019-20, if the full tax is paid by March 31, 2025. The Council has extended the time limit for availing input tax credit for invoices under Section 16(4) to November 30, 2021, for the fiscal years 2017-18 to 2020-21. Additionally, monetary limits for departmental appeals have been set at ₹20 lakh for the GST Appellate Tribunal, ₹1 crore for the High Court, and ₹2 crore for the Supreme Court. To reduce the burden on taxpayers, the required pre-deposit for filing appeals has been reduced, and interest will not be levied on amounts available in the Electronic Cash Ledger on the due date of filing returns.

Further recommendations include the implementation of a sunset clause from April 1, 2025, for anti-profiteering applications and the exemption of Compensation Cess for SEZ imports from July 1, 2017. The Council has set a uniform 12% GST rate for various items such as milk cans, paper cartons, solar cookers, and sprinklers. Certain services provided by Indian Railways and specific accommodation services have been exempted from GST. Additionally, the Council has recommended the phased rollout of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for registration applicants across India to strengthen the registration process and prevent fraudulent claims.

53rd GST Council Meeting Explainer Video

FAQs on GST Council

The latest GST Council meeting is the 53rd GST Council meeting held on June 22, 2024.

The 53rd GST Council meeting agendas were related to recommendations relating to changes in GST tax rates, measures for facilitation of trade and measures for streamlining compliances in GST.

The Finance Minister of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman is the head of the GST Council meeting.

There are 33 members in the GST council.

The 53rd GST council meetings was lead by Union Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Union Finance Minister of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman is the chairman of the GST Council.

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