The 50th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, scheduled to take place today on July 11, 2023, This meeting will bring forth several crucial discussions and decisions on taxation and regulations under the GST regime. Chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, this significant gathering aims to address key issues impacting various sectors ranging from online gaming to medicines. In this article lets see the key highlights anticipated from the 50th GST Council meeting.
If approved, cinema-goers can expect a pleasant surprise as the taxes on certain categories of food and beverages (F&B) sold inside cinema halls may become cheaper. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has proposed a reduction in taxes from the existing 18% to 5% on specific F&B items. This move aims to provide relief to cinema owners and make the cinema experience more affordable for patrons. Notably, popcorn, cold drinks, and other related food items contribute significantly to cinema owners' revenue.
There is a possibility of a tax cut on medicines as recommended by the fitment committee. If implemented, medicines with a cost of ₹36 lakh or below may be exempted from GST. This decision is driven by the understanding that patients often resort to crowdfunding to raise money for their medical expenses. Additionally, the fitment committee has proposed lowering the GST rates on unfried snack pellets to 5% from the current 18%. Furthermore, a suggestion has been made to exempt cancer medicine (dinutuximab/ qarziba) imported by individuals for personal use from the 12% Integrated GST (IGST).
The committee's recommendation for tax exemption on satellite service launches could lead to reduced costs in the future. This move aims to promote the space industry and facilitate satellite-based services without the burden of additional taxation.
The committee led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has proposed an increase in the taxation of online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. It is likely that a 28% GST rate will be levied on all three supplies. However, a suggestion from Goa proposes an 18% tax only on platform fees, while contributions to the prize pool would be tax-exempt. This potential increase in taxes aims to regulate these sectors and generate additional revenue.
The fitment committee, comprising Centre and state tax officers, has recommended a potential price hike for Multi Utility Vehicles (MUVs) and Crossover Utility Vehicles (XUVs). If approved, these vehicles meeting specific criteria, including length greater than 4 meters, engine capacity greater than 1,500 cc, and ground clearance in 'un-laden condition' of more than 170 mm, will attract a 22% cess. This move intends to align taxation with vehicle specifications.
Another crucial decision that the GST Council is likely to make relates to the Tax Collected at Source (TCS) liability of suppliers engaged in e-commerce trading through the government's Open Network for Digital Commerce. This decision aims to streamline taxation policies for e-commerce businesses and ensure compliance.
Anticipated decisions from the 50th GST Council meeting include taxation on online gaming, deliberations on non-fried snacks, ITC claims, MUV taxation, rate rationalization, and more. These decisions will have a significant impact on businesses, consumers, and various industries across the country. As the GST Council continues its deliberations, it remains committed to establishing a balanced and effective taxation system in India.