Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday stated that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council discussed the topic of inclusion of petrol and diesel under the tax structure after the Kerala High Court order. “On the direction of court it was brought on to table but members spoke very clearly they do not want it to be included in GST,” Ms Sitharaman said.
“This will be reported to the high court as the GST Council felt it was not the time to bring petroleum products under the GST,” she added.
In June, the Kerala High Court, based on a writ petition, had asked the GST Council to decide on bringing petrol and diesel within the GST ambit.
The minister also announced that the GST rate on bio-diesel for blending with diesel (used by oil marketing companies) has been reduced from 12% to 5%.
The Council also extended concessional GST rates on drugs used in COVID-19 treatment till December 31, the finance minister said.
Ms Sitharaman stated that all pens will attract single GST rate of 18%. And, 12% GST will be applied to specified renewable sector devices, she added.
She further said that online food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy must pay GST instead of the restaurant they pick up orders from. However, the Council mentioned that there’s no new tax.
“Suppose you order food from aggregator and restaurant is paying taxes. We found that some restaurants were not paying taxes. Now we are saying if you order via aggregator, the aggregator will collect tax from consumer and pay to the authorities instead of the restaurant doing this. There is no new tax,” Revenue Secreatry Tarun Bajaj said.
This is the first on-ground GST Council meeting in almost 20 months. The last meeting was held in 2019, before the Covid pandemic.