No stimulus but more Covid exemptions, easier GST compliance (Ld)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that no final call has been taken on a new stimulus package to revive the growth of the economy.

Addressing a press conference after the GST Council meeting on Friday, Sitharaman said that no final decision has been taken on the issue (of stimulus packcage), but consultations between the states and industries are going on.

“The Budget was announced only on February 1, and we are in May now. We have an entire year to go, the second wave has come, there is not a complete lockdown…

“So we are getting inputs. We need to take a call, we need to understand where the impact is, how much it is… that process of the states consulting the industry is going on. We have not taken any final call on it.”

Sitharaman mentioned that unlike last year when a complete lockdown was announced, only state specific restrictions have been imposed this year.

On GST, Sitharaman said that the Council came up with some respite for items related to Covid relief, exempting integrated GST (IGST) on such imports till August 31, 2021.

In another major decision, the council decided to exempt IGST on Amphotericin B, a medicine required to treat black fungus (Mucormycosis) infection.

The discussions on relief for products required in Covid relief are not over yet, she said.

Furthermore, Sitharaman said that a group of ministers (GoM) will be formed by Saturday (May 29), which will examine the need for further reductions and decide on any new rates in exemptions.

The GoM will submit a report on the matter by June 8, 2021.

In addition to this, the Council recommended to relax the compliance burden on small taxpayers. It recommended to come up with an amnesty scheme for reducing late fee.

As per the Finance Minister, it will benefit around 89 per cent of GST taxpayers, as they would be able file pending returns, and avail the benefits of the scheme with reduced late fees.


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