GST rates for AC hotels fixed, says Jaitley

GST rates for AC hotels fixed, says Jaitley
The Goods and Services Tax will be launched on the midnight of June 30, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed here on Sunday.

The all-powerful GST Council cleared the rules, decided tax rates for contentious lotteries and revisited tariffs for air-conditioned hotels, revising them downwards.

“We don’t have the luxury of time to defer the implementation of the GST. The council categorically decided that it would be implemented from July 1 onwards,” Jaitley told mediapersons, putting to rest speculations about a possible delay.

The council cleared the rules relating to anti-profiteering, advance ruling, appeals and revision, assessment and audit and funds settlement. But with regard to e-way bills, Jaitley said, there would be further deliberations. Till then, states would continue with the existing systems, he said.

The council has decided to tax state-run lotteries 12%, while private ones would attract a rate of 28%. It was also decided that the 28% tax rate will apply to air-conditioned hotels, with tariffs above Rs 7,500.

Earlier, the limit was Rs 5,000. Hotels with tariffs between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500 will now attract a GST rate of 18%.

It also relaxed timelines for filing of returns by trade and industry for July and August.

Accordingly, for July, sales returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10.

Companies will have to file a sale invoice for August with the GST network by September 20, instead of the earlier September 10.

“The government is ready to allow late return filing in the first two months,” Jaitley said.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac, however, said the IT network for GST was not fully prepared, but the council decided to take the risk rather than delay the rollout.

“It is something like building a bridge while walking over the bridge,” he said.

Industry body Assocham had raised similar fears in its letter to Jaitley on Saturday, and sought postponement of the GST implementation. Its counterpart, Confederation of Indian Industry, however, urged the government to stick to the July 1 deadline.

Twenty-four states have already passed their state GST laws, while the rest are expected to pass it over the next 10 days.


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