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GST Council Meeting: FM Sitharaman Announces Nationwide Biometric Authentication- Key Highlights | Economy News

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 53rd GST Council Meeting announced that biometric authentication will be implemented nationwide in phases to curb fake invoicing. For efficient GST registration the council recommended making Aadhaar biometric authentication mandatory for all new registrations across the country.

“There is going to be a rolling out of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication on an all-India basis. This will help us to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices in the cases,” the minister announced during the briefing following the 53rd GST Council meeting.

Here are the key announcements made by the Finance Minister after the GST Council meeting:

– The GST Council has recommended waiving interest penalties on demand notices issued under Section 73 of the GST Act for the fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20. This waiver applies to cases that do not involve fraud, suppression, or misstatement. Taxpayers who settle the full tax amount demanded in the notice by March 31, 2025, will be eligible for this benefit.

– For returns submitted by November 30, 2021, the deadline for Input Tax Credit (ITC) claims for the fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 is considered to be November 30, 2021.

– To curb government litigation, the Council suggested establishing monetary thresholds for filing appeals by departments: Rs 20 lakh for the GST appellate tribunal, Rs 1 crore for high courts, and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court.

– The Council extended the deadline for submitting returns from April 30 to June 30 for the fiscal year 2024-25 and onwards.

– The Council clarified that all types of sprinklers, including those for fire and water, will now have a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent.

– In addition, accommodation services valued at up to Rs 20,000 per person per month which are provided continuously for at least 90 days will also be exempt from GST.

– The Council proposed a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all milk cans, regardless of the material they are made from (steel, iron, aluminium), aiming to resolve disputes.

-The Council also proposed a 12 per cent GST rate for all types of carton boxes and cases made from both corrugated and non-corrugated paper or paperboard. This change is expected to especially benefit apple growers in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

The Finance Minister announced that the next meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is tentatively scheduled for sometime in mid to late August. She pointed out that the groundwork for this inclusion was laid during the initial implementation of GST and stressed that the final decision now rests with the state governments.