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The buses plying on the Delhi- Lahore and Kolkata-Dhaka routes for transporting passengers as well as fuel they use will be exempt from levy of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). Trucks, tankers, vessels and containers will not be required to pay inter-state GST, called IGST in the new regime as the GST Council exempted any mode of conveyance for carrying goods or passengers or for their repairs from the levy. At the meeting of the Council on Sunday, the Centre and states decided to exempt from IGST import of passenger bus and any spares, fuel and consumables for the bus service from New Delhi to Lahore or between Kolkata and Dhaka. IGST is a tax which will be levied by the Centre on inter-state movement of goods and services. It is not a new tax since the credit for IGST payment can be claimed while paying Central GST (CGST) or State GST (SGST). The GST Council has decided to exempt from IGST the inter-state movement of any mode of conveyance from one location to another of the same entity.
The mode of conveyance include trains, buses, trucks, tankers, trailers, vessels and containers. It said that it would exempt the conveyance used for carrying goods or passengers or both or for repairs and maintenance. PwC Leader (Indirect Tax) Pratik Jain said the exemption would help the industry from cash flow perspective as GST will not be required to be paid on such movement. "In particular, it would help transportation, construction and such other sectors which are capital intensive," Jain said. The GST Council on Sunday reduced tax rates on 66 items including kitchen staples like pickles and mustard sauce, agarbatti, computer printers, cashews, children drawing books and school bags. The industry had demanded revision on 133 goods. While it has cut the tax rate on salt to zero from 5 per cent, for coir mats and floor covering it has been cut to 5 per cent from the earlier proposed 12 per cent. Besides, GST rate on raisins have been lowered to 5 per cent from 12 per cent while tax rates on curry paste, mayonnaise and salad dressings, mixed condiments and mixed seasonings have been reduced to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. The GST Council has also increased the turnover limit for businesses to avail the composition scheme for CGST and SGST purposes from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh in respect of all eligible registered persons. Under the composition scheme, traders, manufacturers and eateries with turnover up to Rs 75 lakh can pay taxes at 1, 2, and 5 per cent rates respectively. The Council in its next meeting on June 18 would discuss the threshold limit for traders in special category states. According to the CGST Act, the Council can decide to allow traders with turnover up to Rs 1 crore to avail the composition scheme. The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, have over the last three weeks fixed tax rates on over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the tax bracket of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.