GST Council Meeting Highlights: GST on biofuel is down from 18% to 5%

GST Council Meeting Highlights: GST on biofuel is down from 18% to 5%

GST Council Meeting Highlights: GST on biofuel is down from 18% to 5%

Relevance for Prelims: GST Council, Constitutional Bodies, Functions and working

Relevance for Mains: Growth and Development, working of the council

Context: Recently, the GST council in a meeting tweaked the rate of various goods and services. The article talks about how decreasing GST on biofuel from 18% to 5% impacts the Indian economy.

About GST Council

  • It is a joint forum of the Centre and States which is set up by the President under Article 279A (1) of the constitution.
  • It is chaired by Finance Minister and each state nominates a minister in charge of Finance or taxation or any other member as a member.
  • The Council has 33 members, out of which 2 members are of Centre and 31 members from 28 states and 3 UTs with the legislature. It is considered a federal body as both members of the Centre and States get due representation.

The Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is a permanent invitee in all proceedings. The chairperson does not have any voting power.

Decision-making Process

The decision of the GST council is taken by a majority of members not less than 3/4th members of the weighted votes of the members present.

The vote of the central government has a weightage of 1/3rd of the total votes cast, and votes of all state governments taken together have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast in that meeting.

Since every decision is taken 3/4th votes and given that the Centre has 1/3rd weightage, the Centre has virtual veto power.

Recent decisions

The council has decided to scrap the 5% GST levy on cattle feed ingredient-husk of pulses and reduction of GST levy on ethyl alcohol from 18% to 5% which could also be used for petroleum refineries.

The council also decriminalized GST offences that pertain to obstruction or preventing any officers from discharging their duty, deliberate tampering of material evidence and failure to supply the information/.

Prelims Previous Year Questions:

Consider the following items:
a) Cereal grains hulled
b) Chicken eggs cooked
3. Fish processed and canned
4. Newspapers containing advertising material
Which of the above items is/are exempted under GST (Goods and Services Tax)?

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 1,2 and 4 only

c) All of the above

d) 2 and 3 only

Source:

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