Commenting on the announcements made in the GST Council Meeting yesterday, Mr Uday Shankar, President, FICCI said, “We welcome the decisions announced by the GST Council. We appreciate the government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and enabling better access to medical products and solutions to the country and are happy that some of the key asks from FICCI have been considered.”
“The relief on import of COVID-related relief items, if purchased or meant for donating to government or any other relief agency, have been exempted from the Integrated Goods and Services Tax till Aug. 31, 2021. Also, the drug required for treating Mucormycosis fungal infection, has been included in list of items exempted from IGST. This is a laudable step and was much awaited,” added Mr Shankar.
“We eagerly look forward to the report of the Group of Ministers formed for consideration of further reductions in GST rates on COVID related essentials. A quick decision on this front will help us attain self-sufficiency in this need of hour. At this juncture we cannot afford to lose further time,” said Mr Shankar.
Furthermore, the recommendation on the amnesty scheme to reduce the late fee will provide some relief to the small taxpayers. However, FICCI recommends a waiver from the late fees and interest.
The decision regarding extension of due dates of various compliances under GST laws for the month of May and June, 2021 would have provided a big relief to the taxpayers during this difficult time. Also, the announcement regarding optional return filing for 2020-21 for taxpayers with a turnover less than Rs 2 crore will provide a further respite to the smaller companies.
“FICCI was also hoping to see a decision regarding our long pending demand for zero rating of healthcare services for a period of 24 months during this pandemic period for the healthcare sector. We believe this would further empower the healthcare undertakings to prepare and tackle the ongoing second wave and impending third wave,” added Mr Shankar.
Also, though it was pointed out that amid the current situation it is not the right time to undertake correction of inversion duties. We feel that the matter warrants a quick decision as it continues to impact our competitiveness.