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Entire Rs 16,982 cr GST compensation cess to states to be cleared: FM

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the entire GST compensation cess for June 2022 totalling Rs 16,982 crore will be cleared.

She said this while addressing a press conference soon after the 49th meeting of the GST Council ended.

She also informed that Rs 16,524 crore to six states which have submitted the accountant general’s (AG) certificate will also be released.

Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are among the six states which have submitted AG certificates.

Though submission of AG certificate is a requirement for the states to seek GST compensation, Sitharaman said that it wasn’t a strict pre-requisite, as 90 per cent of funds are anyway released to the states, while the remaining amount is given after the AG certificate is submitted.

The GST Council meeting, which was held at Vigyan Bhavan here, discussed matters pertaining to setting up of appellate tribunals and curbing tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.

The groupf of ministers’ (GoM) report on taxation for pan masala was accepted by the council.

At the meeting, the GST Council decided to reduce GST on pencil sharpeners and certain tracking devices. Exemption on coal rejects supplied by and to the washeries was also approved by the Council. Also, GST on a type of liquid jaggery has been reduced to nil from 18 per cent if sold loose. If its pre-packaged and labelled, the tax rate on it would be 5 per cent.

The GST Council also recommended rationalisation of late fee for delayed filing of annual returns.

However, no decision could be arrived at by the fitment committee for SUVs and MUVs.

Sitharaman said that the GST Council decided to tax services supplied by courts and tribunals under the reverse charge mechanism.

She also informed that the decision on the GST Appellate Tribunal has been accepted with change in language and the modification in draft will be circulated within a week.

Sitharaman said that she expects to finalise the GoM report on GST tribunals with slight modifications so that it is ready by March 1 and can be included in the Finance Bill.

The GoM’s report on online gaming could not be taken up at the meeting as the Chairman of the GoM, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, could not attend the meeting due to the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, the Finance Minister said.