The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council’s 45th meeting in Lucknow last week took several important decisions and set the ball rolling for two structural changes. The council extended concessional rates for several drugs, such as Remdesivir, used to treat Covid-19. It also reduced duty on some other drugs like Itolizumab and Posaconazole till December. Since the pandemic is unlikely to end by December, the council could have easily extended the concession at least till the end of this fiscal year. It further decided to correct the inverted duty structure in textile and footwear, which was discussed in earlier meetings. Additionally, the council decided to form two groups of ministers to examine the issue of inverted duty structure in different sectors and using technology to improve compliance. The findings of these groups should help streamline the GST structure and improve compliance, resulting in higher revenue collection over time. However, making online food-delivery firms pay GST on behalf of restaurants will end up increasing the compliance burden and should have been avoided.
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First Published: Sun, September 19 2021. 23:36 IST